Q Can a municipality enter into a contract that allows a private third party to manage or operate programming for a part of a municipality’s park or sports facility, for a substantial portion of the time the facility might otherwise be available to the public, for a fee for the public’s use? This contract would require the city to sponsor and run events only sanctioned by a specific organization, to the exclusion of any events sanctioned by a competing organization.

A The municipality may not enter into a contract that would grant one entity use of municipal property to the extent that other similarly situated entities are denied equal access to the facility. While a municipality may contract for the management and operation of municipal property, including recreational facilities, Section 21-27-1 provides that “[n]o municipality shall have the power to grant to any person, firm, or corporation . . . any exclusive right to use or occupy . . . public places in such municipality for any purpose.” (Attorney General’s Opinion to Mallette, July 5, 2013)