Vikings concede roof signage to Wells Fargo, say agreement has been reached

(Flickr photo: taberandrew)

The dispute over a logo for Wells Fargo atop two planned office towers in downtown Minneapolis has apparently been settled.

“They are no longer concerned about our signage,” said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Peggy Gunn, in an interview tonight. She said Wells Fargo believes its intention to put a logo on their new buildings will go forward as planned. “We feel it’s reasonable that we be allowed adequate signage in the area, particularly because it’s a vibrant stadium area.”

The Vikings had been raising objections to a plan to put a Wells Fargo “graphic” on the roof of the two towers, presumably where it would be visible in aerial shots of the Vikings new home, which broke ground on Tuesday. The stadium is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and could host a Super Bowl as soon as 2018.

Team vice president Lester Bagley last month called the signage an attempt to “ambush market” and encroach on the naming rights to the new stadium. Under state law, the team owns those rights. Bagley has said another corporate brand in close proximity to the new stadium could diminish the worth of naming rights or even scare off a potential bidder altogether. The Vikings are counting on proceeds from the sale to help cover its share of the new project, a commitment now at just over $500 million.

Bagley said tonight that the team had agreed to drop its objections to the planned signage, noting that the signs had been scaled back already from an earlier proposal. He said the bank, Ryan Cos. and the Vikings had also worked out language regarding potential conflicts with “surrounding property interests.”

“We won’t object for the betterment of the stadium project to limited roof signage next to the stadium,” Bagley said. “We’re excited about the resolution, but we’re excited mostly about the project, about getting to a great stadium, and having a park next door, for fans on game day and for the residents of Minneapolis to use year round.”

There are a number of signs in developer Ryan’s $400 million Downtown East proposal, which have been at least initially blocked in part by city planners. Ryan is appealing those denials, and would have had to battle the Vikings as well if the team continued to object.

The sign plans are still subject to discussion and approval by the 13-member Minneapolis City Council. Ryan Cos. vice president Rick Collins said earlier this week that the rooftop signage issue probably wouldn’t be resolved before the council is due to take up the project on Dec. 13. That may leave the sign disputes to be settled separately at a later date.