SBD/Issue 13/Facilities & Venues

Lawsuit Claims Qwest’s Signs In Seattle Are Too Big

The City of Seattle was “hit with a lawsuit yesterday claiming that large Qwest logos recently added” to Qwest Field as part of a 15-year, $75M naming-rights deal are illegal, according to Bob Young of the SEATTLE TIMES. The suit, filed by a nonprofit group called Save Our Skyline, alleges that the signs are “larger than city regulations allow” and “do not advertise a business that occupies the stadium or products sold in the stadium.” Knoll Lowney, an attorney representing the group, said, “The city cannot allow Qwest to pollute our skyline with illegal corporate advertisements.” Lowney added that the city “initially denied a permit for the Qwest logos on the grounds that they would constitute off-premise advertising.” But the lawsuit states that “at the direction of city employees, Qwest got a permit to build a 110-square-foot booth at the stadium to sell its products, in an effort to make the logos legal on-premise advertising.” Lowney called that move a “transparent sham.” City Attorney Tom Carr defended the permits, saying, “If you sell products inside, then you can advertise on the building. If we’re trying to treat all business the same, you don’t want government regulating the size of business” (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/29). More Lowney: “My gut feeling is, people don’t want to be living in Tokyo or Times Square here” (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 9/29).

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