Judge says Phoenix can't restrict downtown signs for Super Bowl

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 2:43pm
Updated: Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 3:03pm

A judge has temporarily barred the city of Phoenix from enforcing a zoning policy that sets restrictions on which signs can be displayed downtown leading up to the Super Bowl.

The conservative Goldwater Institute sued to stop what are known as Clean Zones arguing the policy violates freedom of speech.

Since October, businesses in the downtown Phoenix area have been required to submit any temporary signage to the NFL and the city for approval before being displayed.

Signage includes banners, posters, pennants, window paintings, flags or even balloons.

The city and Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee have justified the rules, saying it protects small businesses from predatory and fraudulent advertising. 

According to the Goldwater Institute, no criteria was given as to what signs would be acceptable. 

The institute says a judge will review the case again if the ordinance is not revised during next week’s City Council meeting.