ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) - St. Petersburg officials will talk about creating an "event zone" near Tropicana Field, which is host to the Republican National Convention's kickoff party later this month.

The city council will discuss creating the zone on Thursday. The Aug. 26, invite-only kickoff is expected to draw 20,000 attendees.

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The convention will be held across the bay in Tampa. But St. Petersburg residents and business owners wonder how the proposed zone will affect traffic - and demonstrators are worried that free speech rights will be quashed.

Tampa has created a similar zone for the four-day convention. Certain items are banned from the zone, including water guns, rope, glass bottles, padlocks and gas masks. Weapons are also not permitted, although concealed firearms carried by a permit holder are allowed because of state law.

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