Arlington Set to Protect NBA's Big-Money Sponsors

Law would ban certain marketing around Cowboys Stadium during All-Star game

By Scott Gordon
|  Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009  |  Updated 7:55 AM CDT
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Arlington Set to Protect NBA's Big-Money Sponsors

Arlington businesses can't expect to advertise "All-Star nachos" around the time of next year's game.

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Arlington is expected to pass an ordinance outlawing the sale of unauthorized products like “All-Star nachos” around the time of next year's NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium.

The City Council is poised to crack down on unlicensed advertising to protect the NBA’s corporate sponsors from unfair competition, said Jim Parajon, Arlington’s director of community development and planning.

"What you wouldn't be able to do is affiliate yourself, or a product that you're trying to sell, with an NBA All-Star Game when, in fact, you're not a sponsor," Parajon said.

The ordinance would be temporary -- from Feb. 6 to Feb. 16 -- and cover signs, tents, inflatable advertising and other marketing for roughly a mile in all directions around the stadium.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 14.

The owner of J. Gilligans, a popular restaurant and bar near Cowboys Stadium, said he doesn’t believe the measure will hurt his business.

"That won't affect us, by (not) saying 'All-Star" nachos, or 'All-Star' Irish nachos,” Randy Ford said. “We don't need to do that."

The All-Star Game will attract customers to businesses around the stadium just like football games and other events, Ford said.

"It's wonderful for our business,” he said. “It'll be great for our business.”

City officials said most businesses won’t be affected by the ordinance, which would be a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.

"If you were selling food today, you can sell food tomorrow. You can sell food during the All-Star game,” Parajon said. “But you couldn't say, ‘The food is brought to you by our friends at the NBA.’"

The City Council is set to vote on the proposal Tuesday, but city leaders already agreed in general to pass the law as part of their deal with the NBA, Parajon said.

A similar law is expected to be passed before the Super Bowl comes to Cowboys Stadium in January 2011.

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