Vikings to play in U.S. Bank Stadium

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings will play in U.S. Bank Stadium starting next season, per a 20-year exclusive naming rights agreement with the banking behemoth.

The agreement was announced Monday. The two sides declined to disclose the cost of the contract.

The Vikings will play one more season at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, named after a smaller, local rival of U.S. Bank. With corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, U.S. Bank is the nation’s fifth-largest commercial bank.

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“It is our privilege to make this new investment in the Vikings and the entire state of Minnesota. We look forward to U.S. Bank Stadium being a place that will drive economic vitality in Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as a place where friends and families will create lasting memories celebrating civic pride and the competitive accomplishments of the Minnesota Vikings,” U.S. Bank chief executive officer Richard Davis said in a statement.

U.S. Bank’s territory spans 25 states. The company has 67,000 employees. Davis is a co-chair of the Super Bowl bid committee, comprising local business leaders that helped land the big game for Minnesota for 2018.

The private share of construction of the fixed-roof, $1.076 billion stadium has increased to $566 million, or 53 percent, through several additional commitments by Vikings owners. They will use a loan from the NFL and revenue from the naming rights and personal seat licenses for ticket buyers, however, toward their contribution.

U.S. Bank Stadium is a year away from completion, on the site of the team’s former home, the Metrodome. That facility, which opened in 1982, was originally named after prominent Minneapolis politician Hubert H. Humphrey. In 2009, it added the title Mall of America Field, when the Vikings sold naming rights to the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex, located in the area’s largest suburb, Bloomington.

The league’s newest venue, Levi’s Stadium, was named after San Francisco-based clothier Levi Strauss for $220 million over 20 years.

Financial institutions, of course, are the most common category of corporate names on professional sports facilities, though most of them are on the East Coast. The NFL is no exception, with M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Sun Life Stadium for Miami, Raymond James Stadium for Tampa Bay, Bank of America Stadium for Carolina, Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, EverBank Field in Jacksonville, and the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. U.S. Bank also has its name on an arena in Cincinnati.

The Vikings and U.S. Bank also announced a $1 million, multiyear joint investment in places for youth to play around the state.

The program will give grants for community facilities such as parks, playgrounds, trails and athletic facilities. For the next several years, U.S. Bank and the Vikings will make grants totaling $250,000 annually to improve and enhance public venues across the state of Minnesota. Communities can apply for the grants beginning in September 2015, and winners will be selected by the Places to Play advisory committee.

“We are proud to partner with a storied and respected Minnesota institution to introduce both U.S. Bank Stadium and the Places to Play program, both of which will serve as assets for the entire Minnesota community,” Vikings President and co-owner Mark Wilf said in a statement.