published Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Atlanta police move to stop vending before Final Four

ATLANTA — As Atlanta prepares to host the NCAA Final Four tournament, police officers converged on several parts of downtown to enforce a ban on vending on public property.

Officers were at several areas popular with vendors shortly after 6:30 a.m. today to enforce the ban, police said. Those sites included the Five Points area near a main commuter train station; Woodruff Park and areas around Turner Field.

The action was prompted by a December court decision involving Atlanta city ordinances on vending, police said.

The timing of today’s pre-dawn police action was based on several factors, including the scheduling of several upcoming major events in the city, police said in a statement. Atlanta hosts the final games of college basketball’s marquee tournament, along with concerts and related events, April 5-8.

Police said they would “respectfully” inform vendors that selling or displaying goods on city sidewalks is no longer allowed and that doing so would be violating the law.

“We expect compliance with the city’s ordinance, but are prepared to make arrests, if necessary,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said in the statement.

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