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After ACLU challenge, Minneapolis scales back ordinance limiting events around All-Star game

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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis City Council on Friday shortened the window of time around Major League Baseball's July 15 All-Star game during which other events in the city can be limited.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has sued the city, alleging that an ordinance adopted in February that limits other events is unconstitutional.

The ordinance said the city wouldn't issue permits or event licenses between July 5 and July 20 in an area that includes all of downtown Minneapolis without additional approval from MLB.

Organizers are planning a one-day festival July 19 in Minneapolis to commemorate the 80th anniversary of a deadly Teamsters strike. In 1934, Minneapolis police shot striking truckers, killing two.

The City Council on Friday approved a clarified ordinance that shortens the so-called "clean zone" limits from 15 days to seven, ending July 16. The resolution also makes it clear that the ordinance applies only to temporary permits or licenses for commercial vending, marketing or both, and that the city, not MLB, has final approval authority, city spokesman Matt Laible said in an email.

The resolution also more explicitly states that the city will respect the First Amendment in any All-Star game permitting decisions, Laible said.

ACLU spokeswoman Jana Kooren said Friday the organization is discussing the change with its clients and had no comment.

According to the original ordinance, the purpose was to keep the All-Star game's focus on baseball and "to prevent ambush marketing activity and other activities with the potential to distract from the event."

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