Phoenix halts Super Bowl ‘clean zone’ signage enforcement ahead of City Council vote

By Corina Vanek || The Arizona Republic

Phoenix will not enforce rules related to a “clean zone” ahead of the Super Bowl, at least until the City Council has a chance to discuss the option of repealing the ordinance next week, after a judge issued an order Wednesday barring enforcement of the clean zone rules.

The ordinance required that businesses, property owners and residents who lived within the established “clean zone” in downtown Phoenix get prior approval for any temporary signs or advertising displayed on their property three weeks before and one week after the Super Bowl. Enforcement was scheduled to begin Jan. 15.  

The Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank, represented a downtown property owner in a lawsuit over the clean zone rules, alleging that their client, Bramley Paulin, missed out on opportunities to have advertisements on his property because of the rules.

The ordinance required that sign applications be submitted by Dec. 15 and would be reviewed by the city and the Super Bowl Host Committee. Signs that used the Super Bowl LVII trademark without a license or signs that displayed logos for sponsor competitors would not be approved, businesses were told.

Advertisers did not want to create signs without the assurance the signs would be approved by the Host Committee, and the city and Host Committee would not approve signs without knowing the content, said John Thorpe, staff attorney at the Goldwater Institute, who represented Paulin in the suit. By the time the suit was filed, the deadline to apply had passed.


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January 2023