Minnesota Vikings Let Wells Fargo Keep “Photobombing” Rooftop Signs After All

Maybe the Minnesota Vikings are feeling generous after a 2-0 start, but the NFL team is reportedly going to allow Wells Fargo to keep the two rooftop signs the bank allegedly erected to “photobomb” the Vikes’ new stadium — even though a court already ordered Wells to remove the signs.

A brief recap of this story: The Vikings sold naming rights to their new stadium to U.S. Bank. The team also made agreements with the owners of buildings surrounding the venue — including two new Wells Fargo offices — regarding what sort of signage could be put on these structures.

The agreement with Wells said the bank could not place elevated and illuminated signage on top of these two buildings, but in 2015 the team accused the bank of violating that restriction by installing two large red and yellow logos on the roofs of their offices.

The signs could be illuminated, but there was debate about whether the signage counted as elevated, as they could only be seen from the air. The team argued that this was the entire purpose, to “photobomb” aerial shots of U.S. Bank Stadium with logos of a competing bank.

In June, a federal court granted summary judgment in the Vikings’ favor, giving Wells 30 days to remove the signs.

But in a court order [PDF] filed yesterday, the judge stayed his earlier judgment and approved a confidential settlement between the NFL team and the bank.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, that settlement allows for Wells to keep the controversial signs.

The order also notes that the Vikings have withdrawn their motion to have Wells Fargo cover the team’s legal fees, which amount to more than $650,000.

The settlement news comes on the heels of U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis saying that he has ordered his employees and managers to not pile on Wells Fargo right now. The competing bank is in the regulatory and legal hot seat after it was revealed that employees opened millions of fake accounts in customers’ names in an apparent effort to meet high-pressure sales quotas put in place by Wells management.

“So help me God, if I find a branch in one market with an orange flier that says ‘if you bank at Wells come to U.S. Bank,’ they’re going to be let go,” Davis said last week.

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