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Common Sense Prevails; Melrose Avenue Vendors Allowed To Stay

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In a shocking bout of common sense, Iowa City city councilors rejected a bid to ban the vendors on Melrose Avenue in favor of more regulation in the form of permits. The city already issues temporary-use permits for other local events (i.e., Jazz Fest, Arts Fest, the Friday Night Concert Series, etc.), so they'll look at those events for guidance in developing a permit system for the Melrose tailgating scene.

"We're a Big Ten university town — athletics, whether you like it or not, are very, very important to this community," Councilor Susan Mims said. (emphasis added)

No shit. At least someone recognizes the golden goose and doesn't want to kill it.

They also voiced a common opinion among opponents of the Melrose vendor ban:

Connie Champion, however, was among the council members who said Kinnick's neighbors shouldn't be surprised by gameday activities.

"They knew when they bought their property that it was across the street from the stadium," said Champion, who opposed any regulation.

Meanwhile, it won't just be the vendors along Melrose that will be impacted by the new permit system. Watch out, dude selling "Iowa Fucking City" shirts -- you're next:

The council also looked into the regulations for other vendors throughout the city, more notably those scattered throughout the city selling profane T-shirts out of cardboard boxes.

In any event, none of this means that the Evanston endgame described by Pat the other day isn't still in play (the trends relating to tailgating are still pretty clear, especially if you read The Director's excellent FanPost), but it does mean that it won't be upon us in the near future. For the forseeable future, it should be business as usual with the Melrose tailgating scene and that's very good news indeed.