Two popular tailgate venues denied permits - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Two popular tailgate venues denied permits

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Two popular tailgating venues at the University of Iowa will be missing from the gameday scene, when football season starts. The Magic Bus and the Stadium Club have been denied the permits they need to operate, a decision made by the Iowa City City Council.

Tracy Barkalow, one owner of the Stadium Club, recalls what city officials told him earlier this year with regard to the area near Kinnick Stadium.

"It's a free-for-all on gameday over there, and that there's no regulation whatsoever that day," Barkalow said.

The city's code requires vendors to have temporary-use permits to operate in that area. But Doug Boothroy, Iowa City's director of housing and inspection services, said that's been largely overlooked in the past. That is, until the Magic Bus and the Stadium Club, which now sits at 817 Melrose Avenue, were both denied permits.

In the Magic Bus's case, Boothroy said it was drawing opposition from residents in the new area it relocated to. As for the stadium club, Boothroy said a permit was denied because the residential property it sat on was beginning to resemble one of a commercial nature.

"The owners of the property started the ball rolling without the consultation with the city, in terms of making all of these improvements, pushing the Magic Bus in a direction where it wasn't acceptable," Boothroy explained. "So, we were reacting to what they were doing."

However, Barkalow said the intention was to make improvements for the property's tenants.

"There's nothing new with the property, other than we put a little concrete down, and a fence, as the property owners, not as the Stadium Club," Barkalow told us.

In the end, Boothroy says they did not meet the requirements for a permit, and he recommended that the city council deny their application. Yet, when it came to the council's position regarding the other vendors along Melrose, "they also expressed an interest in seeing some of the non-alcohol type temporary uses to continue to have a presence along Melrose Avenue."

This means that at least for the time being, those food and merchandise stands across the street from Kinnick can continue doing what they've been doing, no permits necessary. It's left Barkalow feeling singled-out. 

"The only two groups in town being asked to do it, are the Stadium Club and the Magic Bus, and I truly feel that's unfair."

Barkalow plans to submit to the city a commercial overlay district ordinance, which he said would lay out a gameplan to fairly regulate all tailgating ventures in Iowa City.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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