Thrilling, not-at-all-appalling news today out of Minneapolis! Read all about it:
I never saw this one coming. No one else did, either… Not even US Bancorp CEO Richard Davis, as recently as February 2012:
I caught up with U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis on Friday to ask about a rumor that had the Minneapolis-based lender offering to pay for naming rights to a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium. The catch, my tipster said, was that the stadium would need to be in Minneapolis…
But it didn’t check out. Davis, speaking as a past honoree at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Executive of the Year event in Minneapolis, told me that neither he nor his bank has made any such offer.
Davis said the opportunity makes sense for the bank, but that such discussions would be premature since there’s no stadium location or financing plan yet.
And I definitely did not, day before yesterday, have dinner with friends at Brit’s and swear on the patio that it was only a matter of time before this announcement happened. I was completely, utterly blindsided.
Obviously my first thought is: “this really speaks to the quality of US Bank’s corporate leadership.” This is, after all, the same Richard Davis who brought us the popular Minnesota Orchestra lockout (Mr. Davis, in fact, was chair of the management’s negotiating committee for months, months, and months). And I remember during his tenure there, back in 2012, when regional finances were deemed so tight that the Minnesota Orchestra’s deficit of a few million dollars a year was rendered completely unsolvable by the combined wealth of the state. But since that “very painful time“, US Bank’s fortunes have apparently improved…so much so that they now have $220 million to invest in naming rights for a stadium. O, what bold and intrepid leadership! From dredging the lowest depths of poverty to buying a stadium name in a mere three years! That is some “fortitude and consistency of planning,” right there. Indeed, every Minnesotan taxpayer is in US Bancorp CEO Richard Davis’s debt.
Richard Davis has always had a special relationship with Minneapolis. He has the power to inspire paeans in the mainstream press with titles like “Banker Body, Preacher Soul.” In April 2012, the month the failed Minnesota Orchestra negotiations began, he told the Star Tribune:
“What should I think of a community that wouldn’t support a 50-year-old icon and infrastructure that relates in part to who they are? What should I take away from that, if this community can’t rally behind that?”
Which was a really gorgeous and persuasive way to talk about our world-class orch –
Oh, sorry; my mistake. Richard Davis was talking about the Vikings, not the orchestra. Well, obviously. The Minnesota Orchestra is not 50 years old; it’s over 110. D’oh! *slaps self*
So. Davis’s kingdom come, his will be done, and voila, the city, state, and taxpayers gratefully accepted the opportunity to donate half a billion dollars toward the new
cathedral stadium. Some stupid people thought that was an ineffective use of funds, especially since those resources conceivably could have been used to support a more vulnerable community icon like, say, the Minnesota Orchestra. But those people were stupid. So Richard Davis made this pretty bold statement:
I want to make this pretty bold statement. Whether you like the idea that we’re going to build a new stadium — get over it. We are.
Yeah! Don’t support the stadium? Get over it! So THERE! #argumentsettled
Also, this would be an amazing potential campaign slogan.
The stadium is a great catalyst for this community, and now that we have the stadium, let’s leverage it.
And boy did that boy leverage! My admiration radiates. Look at the stadium mock-up image above. The nuclear-blast-like glow in the corner of the image is not the sun; it is the heat of my admiration glowing all the way from Wisconsin.
And I haven’t even begun to thank Richard Davis for his role in bringing the 2018 Super Bowl to the new US Bank Stadium, a push that, in hindsight, definitely had no selfish components to it whatsoever. As you can imagine, many of my Minnesotan friends and I are beyond excited to host the Minneapolis Super Bowl in 2018. There are a lot of things to look forward to, and this Star Tribune article details some of them. In fact, my Minnesotan friends and I frequently gather to debate which of the not-at-all onerous provisions we love best. Of course the final deal was secret (it would, after all, be much too complicated for little people to understand), but we do have a 153-page document of the National Football League’s Host City Bid Specifications and Requirements, so my friends and I work off that instead. Oh, you should hear our spirited verbal lunges! “Come ON, Emily! Why are you most looking forward to the free curbside parking outside a exclusive drop-in hospitality facility for the NFL’s most valued and influential guests to meet, unwind, network and conduct business? Clearly the highlight will be the government resolutions requiring high-level management at local airports to cooperate with those needing special services, including those arriving on team charters and private planes!” Yes, well, I do confess: it’s hard for me to choose a favorite part of the upcoming Super Bowl. I mean, after all, it’s the Super Bowl! It’s an international event that inspires puppy appreciation. Anyone who hates the Super Bowl hates adorably determined puppies. That’s a fact.
OH MY GAWD SO CUUUUUUTE
In any case, the people of Minnesota are clearly the champions here. And, as always, Richard Davis and I agree. In fact, according to the press, after it was announced that Minneapolis had won the Super Bowl bid, somebody “played Queen’s anthem We Are the Champions on their phone as everyone sang along, danced and held hands.” Yes! These lyrics do indeed sum up the triumph of Richard Davis, US Bank, and the Minnesota taxpayer:
I’ve paid my dues
Time after time.
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime.
And bad mistakes ‒
I’ve made a few.
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through.
(And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)
We are the champions, my friends,
And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the world
All together now!
I’d pay over a billion dollars (the cost of the stadium) to see Richard Davis rock this outfit at the 2018 halftime show. You laugh, maybe…but I can’t help it that I find Richard Davis so physically, emotionally, and spiritually attractive.
The preceding entry has been brought to you by satire. Satire: ask your doctor if it’s the stress reduction method right for you.