The next time Major League
Baseball announces its All-Star Game rosters, those selected as best of the
best will make their way to Cincinnati to showcase their skills.
It'll be an exciting marquee event for the city, but not so much for some of the street vendors.
"This is what I do. That's how I make a living," said Robert Barnes, a vendor selling Reds gear outside Great American Ball Park.
Juggling another job, you'll find Barnes on the streets trying to pad his income during every Reds home game. But next season for a six day period around the All-Star Game festivities, he won't be.
"That'll be a good, good week for us. To not let us here, that'd be real hurtful. We'd lose out on thousands," said Barnes.
[Related: Vendors face restrictions for next year's All-Star game]
In a letter from the city of Cincinnati sent to vendors in June, the city said during the six-day All-Star Game celebrations vendor licenses within a "baseball special event area" will have restrictions which will preclude all sales of merchandise, goods and wares.
The city also said ticket sales and product sampling won't be allowed in the area during the six-day period.
"I'm out here trying to save the fans some money, and trying to make a few dollars, and to have to go up there, it's ridiculous. No one up there buys anything," said Richard Tyree, another vendor.
For Tyree, outfitting Reds fans is more than a part-time job. For him, it's a living.
"With my SSI check
and this, it's barely enough for me and my daughter to scrape by," Tyree
The city of Cincinnati has said permitted food and beverages can be sold in that restricted area. They've also said they will help vendors relocate if they'd like to do so.
"That kind of defeats the purpose because everybody that comes to the game pretty much parks within that area they're trying to put us out of," said Barnes.
On Sunday, spokesperson for the city of Cincinnati, Rocky Merz, told FOX19:
"The city agreed to additional vendor restrictions when applying to host the game back in 2012. Each city who hosts, including Minneapolis this year is required to agree to them. We have worked to minimize the impact on our vendors who are an asset to the city and enhance the game day experience. We are working hard to balance the requirements of MLB, the interests of the vendors as well as the safety of our visitors."
In June FOX19 reported that in a Sept. 16, 2011 letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig when the city was bidding for the game, then City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. said the city agreed to a "clean zone." Dohoney said the clean zone would be passed by council on or before Feb. 1, 2015.
"The city agrees that MLB has the exclusive right to sell, distribute and otherwise promote the sale of MLB merchandise and products of MLB sponsors and/or partners in the clean zone," Dohoney said.
A spokesperson for Major League Baseball also tells FOX19, "Clean zones have been implemented for the MLB All-Star Game since the 90s," adding, "This practice is implemented only in a limited area of the city where MLB All-Star events take place.
The clean zone in Cincinnati is designed to protect fans and official All-Star retail partners from counterfeiters and the sale of unofficial All-Star product."
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