City of Phoenix sued for ‘Clean Zone’ signage rules as Super Bowl approaches

Temporary signage not allowed in ‘Clean Zone’ until a week after Super Bowl.
After Phoenix told businesses and homeowners not to put up signs because of the Super Bowl, one man is taking the city to court.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 8:51 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Super Bowl LVII is nearly a month away, and this Sunday through February 19, the city of Phoenix has designated a section of the downtown area a ‘Clean Zone.’

This means hundreds of people and businesses inside that area will need a permit from the city and permission from the NFL and Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee to put up non-NFL related temporary signs during that time. “That’s prevented Mr. Paulin as well as others in the downtown area to put up signs they want leading up to the Super Bowl to take advantage of the festivities and high visibility at that time,” said Attorney John Thorpe, who filed a lawsuit against the city this week.

Downtown resident Bramley Paulin, represented by Attorney Thorpe, owns two pieces of property in the ‘Clean Zone.’ He sued the city after being told the signage on his property was not allowed. Thorpe told Arizona’s Family the city is violating the First Amendment. “It violates their due process by taking away their rights without procedural safeguards to giving private companies broad discretion to what is and isn’t allowed and it violates the separation of powers,” Thorpe explained.

The city previously told Arizona’s Family that ‘Clean Zones’ are not uncommon surrounding big sporting events like the Super Bowl and are expected. “Yeah other cities have enacted similar restrictions leading up to major events like the Super Bowl, but the fact that other people are doing this doesn’t make it right,” Thorpe said.

In a statement to Arizona’s Family, the city said they already had plans to add an item to the next council meeting changing the resolution’s language, saying “the proposed change would remove the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee from involvement in temporary signage or other city-issued permits within the Special Promotional and Civic Event Area.”