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Since You Asked: Despite the 'feedback,' no coolers allowed at park

How is it that the city of Medford parks department can prohibit ice chests, among other things, at the U.S. Cellular Community Park? I don't find any such rules in the municipal code, and last I checked ice chests were still legal in Oregon. What gives?

— Jason W., Medford

Well, Jason, there are many places for governments to create rules and in the case of the city's ban on ice chests at the sports park it's in the Parks & Recreation Department's policies and procedures. They're available at www.sportsmedford.com if you are interested in reading them (in other words, if you have no life).

The city made the policy in order to protect the interests of its concessionaire, Subway, said Rich Rosenthal, Medford recreation superintendent.

There is no prohibition on bringing water into the facility. Park officials don't want to hamper players' ability to stay hydrated during a game, but they do want to avoid people bringing in large amounts of food and drink that could be shared with spectators. They want spectators to purchase their food and drink from the concessions stands.

Subway has invested thousands of dollars into setting up shop at the sports park, Rosenthal said.

"We want to do everything we can to protect them in terms of outside food and drink," he said.

The policy is not unusual.

"When we did our research, we called other facilities in the state and region, and this was something they suggested, so it's a concern at other venues as well," Rosenthal said.

"We get a lot of feedback on that."

Does feedback mean complaints?

"We like to call it feedback," Rosenthal replied.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.