Naming rights coming soon
A number of people in the Twin Cities business community will be very surprised if Zygi Wilf and his family don’t announce in the near future that U.S. Bank has won the naming rights for the new Vikings stadium, with a good chance of a 20-year deal and payments between $7 million and $10 million per year.
The Wilfs have had a close association with U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis, and look for U.S. Bank to get the nod unless it decides not to spend the money.
The Indianapolis Colts have a naming rights contract with Lucas Oil that pays about $7 million a year.
• Finance and Commerce reported that the University of Minnesota might break ground this fall on a new training facility at the Les Bolstad Golf Course and spend $3.5 million on a project that would include heated hitting stalls, an indoor putting studio, locker rooms, video technology training, a training room and offices. There also is talk about spending $7.5 million to renovate the 85-year-old golf course with work starting this fall if private money is available to do the job.
• Reggie Meyer, the outstanding Totino-Grace pitcher and basketball player, signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the Gophers. His father, Bob, played for the Gophers in John Anderson’s first year as coach, and his brother, Ben, is a junior pitcher on this year’s roster. Also in Anderson’s signing class were Alex Boxwell of Coon Rapids; Micah Coffey of Batavia, Ill.; Jeff Fasching of St. Cloud; Lucas Gilbreath of Westminster, Colo.; Toby Hanson of Delano; Fred Manke of Lodi, Wis.; and Luke Pettersen of Minnetonka.
• Major League Baseball and the Twins will play host a major event at Target Field on Friday to launch the All-Star balloting process. Also look for MLB and the Twins to announce an All-Star statue program in St. Paul during the month of May.
• Former Gophers hockey standout Nick Bjugstad ended up leading the Florida Panthers in scoring during his rookie season with 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists). While that’s a great success for Bjugstad, it doesn’t speak well for the Panthers as a team. His point total is the lowest to lead a team in scoring over an 82-game NHL season. The previous record was Scott Pellerin’s 39 in the Wild’s first season, 2000-01, and Pellerin played only 58 games with the Wild before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes that season.