Ford Amphitheatre Noise Dispute Battles On

TAMPA, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The debate over noise complaints about the Clear Channel-run Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa, Florida, has continued through yet another court session. The showdown between the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Committee and CCE has spread to cover over 800 separate noise violations since the facility opened on the Florida State Fairgrounds last summer, with the latest complaints stemming from an April 30th radio-station-sponsored festival and a May 21st Allman Brothers show.

“They are violating on almost every concert they hold,” EPC general counsel Rick Tschantz told the St. Petersburg Times.

Area residents have complained about the loud music since the venue’s opening, which led to the EPC suing last year to block concerts until noise limits could be met. Clear Channel has battled the suit in court ever since.

“We dispute these allegations, and neither we nor the court has found them to be credible,” Paul Griscti, a spokesman for CCE and the Ford Amphitheatre, told the paper.

In February, a judge agreed with Clear Channel that portions of the county’s noise ordinance are “unconstitutionally vague,” but did not rule on blocking concerts.

Tschantz said that this lawsuit aims to bring relief to residents as the summer concert season kicks off. This case involves only CCE, while the first lawsuit also dragged the Florida State Fairgrounds into the fray. Clear Channel is requesting that the court consolidate the two lawsuits into one.

The EPC considers the move a delaying tactic.

“The longer they can go and have concerts without any interference from the courts is better news for them,” Tschantz told the paper. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers