Representatives from three organizations gathered at Queen’s Beach on Saturday to protest the city’s decision to allow the National Football League to rope off part of the beach area for a private, alcohol-serving VIP party in advance of Sunday’s Pro Bowl.

The city says it is making a one-time exception for the NFL to serve alcohol to its Pro Bowl sponsors and their guests. But representative of the three groups said Saturday they are concerned the decision will set a precedent.

John Shockley of the Free Access Coalition says another key concern is that the city allowed the roped-off party area to extend from a tent area out onto the public beach, shutting off the public from more than 2,400 square feet of  beach.

Shockley said his group is dedicated to keeping public spaces opened to the public.

Shockley was joined by Linda Wong of the Diamond Head, Kapahulu, Saint Louis Heights Neighborhood Board and Annie Moriyasu of the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society.

Wong said their goal was to educate people in the park about the unfairness of the city giving one group privileges that are denied to the rest of the public.

Part of the roped-off area for the private portion of the NFL's pre-Pro Bowl activities is beneath a tent.
Part of the roped-off area for the private portion of the NFL’s pre-Pro Bowl activities is beneath a tent. Denby Fawcett

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