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Lester Bagley
Vice President of Public Affairs/Stadium Development

BIOGRAPHY

Lester Bagley brings nearly three decades of public affairs and communications experience to his role as the Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development.  Currently in his 11th year with the Vikings, Bagley oversees the team’s public relations, public affairs, community relations and charitable giving initiatives. 

In May, 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 State Capitol. On May 10, 2012, the House and Senate passed legislation to construct a $975 million multi-purpose stadium in Minneapolis. Four days later, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law.  Since passage of the stadium legislation, the Vikings/private investment in the stadium has increased by more than $100 million.  For his significant role on the stadium effort, 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 nearly three decades of public affairs and communications experience to his role as the Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development.  Currently in his 11th year with the Vikings, Bagley oversees the team’s public relations, public affairs, community relations and charitable giving initiatives. 

In May, 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 State Capitol. On May 10, 2012, the House and Senate passed legislation to construct a $975 million multi-purpose stadium in Minneapolis. Four days later, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law.  Since passage of the stadium legislation, the Vikings/private investment in the stadium has increased by more than $100 million.  For his significant role on the stadium effort, 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.

In 2014, Bagley led the Vikings involvement in securing Super Bowl LII (52) to be played in February, 2018 in Minnesota.  Bagley worked with Vikings ownership and management, and Minnesota corporate and civic leaders to create the Super Bowl bid and secure the support of the NFL for this marquee event to be held in U.S. Bank Stadium.  Bagley currently serves on the Super Bowl Executive Board with Richard Davis/U.S. Bank, Doug Baker/Ecolab, Marilyn Carlson Nelson/Carlson, Michael Langley/GreaterMSP, and Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

As part of the Vikings stadium development team, Bagley works with Vikings leadership, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the City of Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota and other key stakeholders to ensure that a world-class, multipurpose facility is constructed.  Before it has even opened, the new Vikings stadium has been a catalyst for significant investment in Downtown East Minneapolis, has generated tremendous job creation and economic development, and has secured national events like the NCAA Final Four in 2019, in addition to the Super Bowl in 2018.

U.S. Bank Stadium promises to be an elite stadium in the NFL.  The design features for which the Vikings fought include the most fan-friendly and most technologically-advanced stadium in the League.  It will provide an indoor-outdoor experience that is ideal for the Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul market.  The progressive architectural design will be a signature element on the Minneapolis skyline.

Bagley serves on the Vikings management team and works closely with Zygi, Mark and Lenny Wilf.  He oversees Vikings Community Relations, Youth Football Programs and the Vikings charitable arm, the Vikings Children’s Fund.  The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most active and community-engaged teams in the NFL, a key tenant of the organization.

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 off 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 Executive Board of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, the Downtown East Commons Implementation Committee and serves on the boards of the Public Affairs Council, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Vikings Children’s Fund. 

Bagley and his wife Wendy, who has a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine, reside in Minneapolis with their sons Michael and Charlie.