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Judge: Bank Can’t ‘Photobomb’ New Vikings Stadium

Jason Scott

After a lengthy legal battle, a judge has ruled that Wells Fargo must remove rooftop signs from its building adjacent to U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.

The feud began when Wells Fargo installed light-up signs that stick up a few feet above the roof of two recently built office towers. The signs would effectively ‘photobomb’ the stadium, making the Wells Fargo brand visible in aerial shots during major events, including the 2018 Super Bowl.

The Vikings filed suit last December.

When legislation allowing the Vikings to construct a new stadium was passed, the team was given control of an area surrounding the new building. The team reached a naming rights agreement with U.S. Bank, which paid undisclosed millions to feature their brand logo on the stadium building, and to have it visible from the sky.

When Wells Fargo planned to build the office towers, they discussed signage with the Vikings and worked out a contract that restricted certain mounted rooftop signs.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank ruled that the Wells Fargo signs violated that contract. The judge ordered Wells Fargo to remove the offending signs within 30 days, and to pay the team’s legal fees. 

Frank scolded both sides in the case in his summary, saying he “continues to have difficulty understanding the parties’ inability to resolve this matter.”

The ruling allows Wells Fargo to paint signs on the tower rooftops, but restricts raised, lighted signage. 

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