All-Star "Clean Zone" kicking vendors out of downtown - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

All-Star "Clean Zone" kicking vendors out of downtown

(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Lisa Hutson) (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Lisa Hutson)

If you were hoping to grab a t-shirt, a jersey or even a bag of peanuts from an outside vendor during All-Star week, you may be out of luck. A mandated "Clean Zone" by the city and Major League Baseball has local vendors wondering how they'll make any money during the biggest event of the year.

"My boss keeps talking to me about it because I keep asking him what we are going to do and as of right now, there is nothing. They haven't helped us. Nothing to get situated even anywhere close to around here,” said Bob Barnes, a vendor who has sold Reds gear every home game for four years.

In 2011, the city made an agreement with Major League Baseball giving them the exclusive right to sell, distribute and otherwise promote the sale of MLB merchandise during All-Star week. From July 9th-15th 2015, local vendors are not allowed to set up within the limits of the “clean zone”, an area stretching from Paul Brown Stadium past Columbia Parkway and as far north as 9th street downtown.

"We are missing out on a day's work. How about your boss told you that you can't come to work today because of some event going on? I've got a bill coming up. The kids got to eat. What do you mean I can't come to work?" said Daniel Wagoner, a ticket reseller.

Cincinnati is not the only All-Star game host to agree to MLB's terms. In 2014, the ACLU sued the city of Minneapolis for accepting a similar agreement.

In a June 2014 letter to local vendors licensed to sell merchandise, the city acknowledged the inconvenience and promised to allow food and beverage sales along with assistance relocating vendors to different areas of town. They are promises some vendors say the city is breaking.

"For us to be not allowed down here the whole week prior when there is not even games going on? I mean that is kind of ridiculous there. But like I said, they are wanting all the money, MLB is which I don't get because they are making money off of what we sell too,” said Barnes.

Some vendors say they could make more during All-Star week than they've made all season but not if they have to set up so far way. The city on the other hand says these are terms they agreed to years ago and so far those terms do not appear to be changing.

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