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.