Massive Oracle Banner for Super Bowl 50 Sparks Controversy in San Jose - NBC Bay Area
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Massive Oracle Banner for Super Bowl 50 Sparks Controversy in San Jose

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    A super sign right before the Super Bowl. A giant 18-story sign on the side of Oracle's building in downtown San Jose is sparking controversy. Ian Cull reports. (Published Friday, Jan. 8, 2016)

    A super sign right before the Super Bowl.

    A giant 18-story sign on the side of Oracle's building in downtown San Jose is sparking controversy.

    The city said Oracle never applied for a permit for the massive sign, which is visible from the freeway and planes landing at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

    The sign has been going up all week on the building owned by Oracle to promote the company in time for Super Bowl 50, which will be held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

    "Looks beautiful," Scott Knies with the San Jose Downtown Association said of the sign.

    Knies said he loves the idea of promoting South Bay companies and making them visible when the world tunes in.

    "We'd like to see this on parking garage and other public buildings," Knies said. "We think there's an opportunity to do these types of super graphic signs year round."

    But the city said Oracle and other companies cannot just put up massive signs without a permit.

    "The sign came up just the last couple of days and I think it took city hall a bit by surprise," San Jose city spokesman Dave Vossbrink said.

    The company could face fines of $2,500 a day, which might not mean much to the software giant.

    Oracle responded to NBC Bay Area in a statement saying:

    "We believe we have taken all the steps necessary to put the temporary banner in place and if we missed a step we will, of course, fix it right away. "

    But the company might not have to budge. City leaders are now considering allowing these signs for now.

    "We recognize we have an opportunity with the Super Bowl Downtown and a lot of eyes on San Jose," Vossbrink said. "Oracle's certainly a prominent company, but we can't pick and choose companies or signs so we have to have a consistent approach."

    The city council would have to change city policy to allow companies to show off signs for the big game. Council members could make a vote on the issue in about two weeks.

    NBC Bay Area has also learned the Marriott will put up a super sign sometime before the Super Bowl.

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