Fourth Street Live Developers Agree To Allow Jerseys

By Justin Wilfon

(LOUISVILLE, June 29th, 2004, 6:55 p.m.) -- The much-debated dress code at Fourth Street Live is being scaled back. After some community outrage on the issue, patrons of the new downtown entertainment district will now be allowed to wear sports jerseys and baseball caps facing any direction they choose. WAVE 3's Justin Wilfon has more.

The dress code controversy became less controversial Tuesday. "We're very excited that we've reached a consensus here in regards to jerseys. Jerseys will be welcomed here," said Zed Smith property manager for the Cordish Company.

The change in policy comes just one day after protesters -- including members of the ACLU and several metro council members -- voiced their concerns about the dress code. They believed it was aimed at keeping urban youth out of Fourth Street Live.

"We had an opportunity to hear their side of the story," Smith said Tuesday.

Officials from the Cordish Company, which operates Fourth Street Live, discussed the changes with metro council members at a meeting Monday, and reached their final decision Tuesday morning.

"Obviously, it was an issue," Smith said. "We didn't want it to be an issue any longer. We wanted to make sure that everyone felt comfortable coming here."

"I think it's a step in the right direction," said Councilwoman Denise Bentley, who opposed banning jerseys. "I think that through dialogue we were able to help them realize the climate in this community, what our constituency thinks of this policy, and I'm glad that we could reach an agreement."

As part of the agreement, sports jerseys and non-forward facing baseball caps will now be allowed. But baggy pants and sleeveless shirts for men will still be prohibited.

That's fine with Bentley. "We support the no sagging pants policy. We don't feel that's conducive to Fourth Street."

Now the mayor hopes the focus at Fourth Street Live will return to food and fun, and not clothes. "We very much appreciated Cordish stepping up, realizing the situation and responding accordingly."

Councilwoman Bentley says she will always be available for discussion if Fourth Street officials want to change the dress code again.

Online Reporter: Justin Wilfon

Online Producer: Michael Dever