A day after WFAA-Channel 8 spread the word that the enormous Ultimate Super Bowl party planned in the Southwest Center Mall parking lot was no more -- folded at the last minute amidst dirty politics and safety concerns -- council member Tennell Atkins held court this morning in the atrium of The Beleaguered Mall Formerly Known as Red Bird to announce that the party's still on after all.
With a lineup of performers like Vivica Fox and Regina King, and a monstrous Madden 2011 video game tourney, organizers expected the party to draw around 200,000 people to the big tents being assembled in the mall parking lot. Now Atkins says the party's moving inside the mall, where beer and liquor are prohibited.
Atkins tells us the "adult entertainment," by which he means any performance where liquor's going to be sold, will be moved elsewhere -- but the big shows, he says, will go on inside the mall.
Organizer Bruce Carter told WFAA he blamed City Hall politics for the maze of permitting troubles he had to deal with over the last three months; Atkins said he'd only just been contacted for help.
Today, Atkins tells Unfair Park he's doing all he can to help ease communication between mall owner Jack Friedler of City View Commercial, Dallas police and the event organizers. Atkins tells us the party's going to mean a lot for the mall after Super Bowl weekend. "We've got to get to the point where this is a good venue," Atkins says.
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Community members at this morning's press conference said they were frustrated to hear someone was spreading concerns about crime to try and scare people away from the kid-friendly event. Crime at the mall has dropped 48 percent in the last year, Atkins says, and with new stores going in, and remodeling on the mall's exterior, the place is primed for a comeback if the city's willing to support it. "We've got to invest," he says, "We've got to invest in the community."