Spurred on by Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl, county officials have fine-tuned policies in the hope that similar incidents can be prevented in the future.
Commissioners Court was informed today that promoters will sign contracts that highlight phrases such as one requiring that performers not use facilities for any "immoral purpose."
Promoters will be required to carry at least $1 million in insurance to cover lawsuits that may result from a performer's actions, said Willie Loston, director of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., which oversees Reliant Park.
The Sports & Convention Corp. developed some of the slight policy changes in March and April, more than a year after Jackson bared her breast during a Super Bowl halftime performance at Reliant Stadium on Feb. 1, 2004.
Shortly after Jackson's performance, Commissioner Steve Radack called for adding a "morality clause" to the contracts of promoters who bring in acts to Reliant Park.
Loston said the Sports & Convention Corp.'s board and SMG-Reliant Park, a national company that manages Reliant Park and other sports and convention venues worldwide, chose not to impose a Draconian morality clause.
First, immorality, indecency and vulgarity are subjective concepts, and certain behaviors are protected under First Amendment freedom of speech provisions, Loston said.
Second, Reliant Park would lose business and some performers would choose to perform in another town or at another venue if the county imposed an extraordinarily strict morality clause, he said.
"We talked about how restrictive can we get and still be competitive," he said. "We would put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage to Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and Cynthia Woods (Pavilion)."
I can't wait to see the first litigation over the question of just what constitues an "immoral purpose" for the use of Reliant Stadium. Personally, I'd include any reunion tours by the Oak Ridge Boys, but I admit that I may be in the minority with that interpretation.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 14, 2005 to Local politics | TrackBack