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Lester Bagley
Vice President of Public Affairs/Stadium Development

BIOGRAPHY

Lester Bagley brings more than two decades of public affairs and communications experience to his role as the Vikings Executive Vice President - Public Affairs & Stadium Development. Currently in his 10th year, Bagley oversees the team’s public relations, public affairs, community relations and charitable giving initiatives. In 2014, Bagley led the Vikings efforts to secure Super Bowl LII for Minnesota in February 2018.

In May of 2012, Bagley led the organization to its biggest victory off the field when he helped secure financing for a new publicly-owned and operated stadium for the State of Minnesota and the Vikings. In an extremely difficult political environment and economy, Bagley led the public discussion and advocacy effort on behalf of the Vikings. With Bagley’s guidance, a coalition of elected officials, Vikings fans and business, labor and community leaders organized to advance the stadium issue at the Minnesota Capitol. On May 10, 2012, the House and Senate passed legislation to construct a $975 million multi-purpose stadium in Minneapolis. Just days later on May 14, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law. For his significant role, Bagley was honored alongside Governor Dayton and stadium bill authors Senator Julie Rosen and Representative Morrie Lanning with the “Public Policy Achievement (Sports)” award as part of Minnesota’s Leaders in Public Policy 2012.

Lester Bagley brings more than two decades of public affairs and communications experience to his role as the Vikings Executive Vice President - Public Affairs & Stadium Development. Currently in his 10th year, Bagley oversees the team’s public relations, public affairs, community relations and charitable giving initiatives. In 2014, Bagley led the Vikings efforts to secure Super Bowl LII for Minnesota in February 2018.

In May of 2012, Bagley led the organization to its biggest victory off the field when he helped secure financing for a new publicly-owned and operated stadium for the State of Minnesota and the Vikings. In an extremely difficult political environment and economy, Bagley led the public discussion and advocacy effort on behalf of the Vikings. With Bagley’s guidance, a coalition of elected officials, Vikings fans and business, labor and community leaders organized to advance the stadium issue at the Minnesota Capitol. On May 10, 2012, the House and Senate passed legislation to construct a $975 million multi-purpose stadium in Minneapolis. Just days later on May 14, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law. For his significant role, Bagley was honored alongside Governor Dayton and stadium bill authors Senator Julie Rosen and Representative Morrie Lanning with the “Public Policy Achievement (Sports)” award as part of Minnesota’s Leaders in Public Policy 2012.

The passage of the stadium bill not only secured the team in Minnesota but also gave Vikings fans a premier venue to watch their team beginning in the 2016 NFL season. Along with Vikings football, the multi-purpose facility has been designed to host national and international events, including NCAA basketball, a Super Bowl and concerts, as well as high school and amateur sports and other community events. Even before the stadium’s doors open for the first time, Minnesota secured Super Bowl LII in February 2018 and has been named a finalist for a future NCAA Final Four in 2017-20.

On May 22, 2014, Minnesota scored a major upset by securing Super Bowl LII in 2018. Bagley and the Vikings led the state’s efforts to win the campaign to land the world’s marquee sporting event for Minnesota.

The stadium project has also served as a catalyst to redevelop the Downtown East neighborhood of Minneapolis. Adjacent to the site will be a nearly $600 million development that will include two 17-story office towers, a hotel, retail space, apartments and a two-block city park that will serve as programmable space on Vikings game days.

As part of the Vikings stadium team, Bagley continues to  work closely with the five-member Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to ensure that a world-class facility is constructed for the State, the team and Vikings fans. Ground breaking took place in December 2013, followed by the Metrodome’s destruction in spring 2014. 

Over the past several years, Bagley has been instrumental in the Wilf ownership group’s efforts to enhance the Vikings presence in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and throughout the State. In addition to overseeing all Vikings communications efforts, Bagley plays a leadership role in the Vikings Children’s Fund. He developed the Vikings “You Made the Team” Community Tour, that has connected the team with Vikings fans and charitable causes throughout Minnesota. Bagley also served as a co-chair of the Vikings London Task Force, as the organization strengthened its global brand by taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers in London’s Wembley Stadium on September 29, 2013.

Before joining the Vikings, Bagley operated Bagley Public Affairs from 1999-2005. The Minneapolis firm specialized in issues management, public relations and public affairs. From 1993-99, Bagley served as associate director and helped lead the Minnesota Business Partnership, the public policy organization comprised of the chief executive officers of 100 of Minnesota’s largest companies. He also spent five years working in public affairs and public relations in Washington, D.C.

A native of Barron, WI, Bagley began college at the University of Minnesota before graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He served as a White House intern and studied at the University of Oxford during his undergraduate days.

Bagley currently sits on the boards of the Public Affairs Council, Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES), the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Meet Minneapolis and the Vikings Children’s Fund.

Bagley’s wife, Wendy, who has a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine, has held several prominent positions in state government, including serving three successive Minnesota Governors. The family resides in Minneapolis with their sons Michael and Charlie.

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