What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Change would allow Wells Fargo signs

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: December 6, 2013 - 4:35 PM

The City Council took its first step Friday toward allowing the controversial rooftop signs that have snagged a $400 million development deal for the east end of downtown.

The signs feature the logo of Wells Fargo, which would occupy two new massive office buildings adjacent to the new Vikings stadium. They would be visible only from the air, likely during football game aerial shots.

They appear to be a deal breaker for Wells Fargo, who says the signage is an important reflection of their $300 million investment in the building.

The Vikings fiercely oppose the idea, since it could harm their naming rights package. The team apparently has the ability to scuttle the entire deal, since it requires approval from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. The authority and the team must make decisions unanimously.

On Friday, council member Lisa Goodman announced her intent to introduce an ordinance that would allow for the signs. Mayor R.T. Rybak has said he supports Wells Fargo's proposal.

But it appears unlikely that Goodman's ordinance can make it to final approval this year, given that the council's final meeting is next Friday and it would likely have to go through the committee process. How that will play out will become clearer next week.

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