Currently in his 18th season with the Vikings in 2016, Steve Poppen serves as the team’s Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. In his role, Poppen is responsible for all financial aspects of the team, including business planning, budgeting, day-to-day financial and administrative operations, human resources, facilities, and U.S. Bank Stadium project financing.
Poppen plays a key part in the new Vikings headquarters and training facility that is underway in Eagan following City Council approval in June 2016. As a project leader on the facility, Poppen is involved daily with financing, design, construction and cooperating with city, county and regional governing bodies to keep the project on track.
For several years Poppen played a lead role in the Vikings attempts to pass new stadium legislation, an exhaustive effort that culminated with Governor Mark Dayton signing the stadium bill into law on May 14, 2012. Since the passage of stadium legislation, Poppen continues to serve on the Vikings stadium team, assisting with the design and construction process and helping negotiate the team’s use agreement and development agreement, as well as other documents governing the construction and operation of the new publicly-owned facility. Poppen also oversees the Vikings efforts to finance the over $600 million team/private commitment to the project. In 2013, he helped secure $375 million in loans from the NFL and a bank syndicate led by U.S. Bank as part of the team contribution, a significant step forward for the stadium project.
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 the NCAA Final Four in 2019.
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.
A native of Watertown, SD, Poppen spent eight years as a Certified Public Accountant in the business assurance group of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Kansas City before joining the Vikings. In 2006, Poppen participated in the NFL-Stanford Program for Managers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a program developed by the NFL to promote growth of leaders within the League. Poppen helped engineer dramatic renovations to Winter Park during the 2006 offseason that featured a total remake of the locker room and equipment facilities and an upgrade of the athletic training areas. In 2009, he joined the NFL’s Green Committee to enhance environmental awareness among clubs and has been key in the Vikings Planet Purple initiatives to operate the franchise in a more Earth-friendly way.
Poppen received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Evangel University in Springfield, MO, in 1991. Poppen played football at Evangel, an NAIA member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Poppen is an active member of his community, Poppen served on the board of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for Minnesota adults and teens, from 2002-2012. Poppen retired from the board in 2015 of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District’s Executive Committee, an organization promoting business development in downtown Minneapolis. He holds a position with the Minnesota State Fair Foundation board of directors, including serving as the chair of the Audit Committee. The State Fair Foundation was created to preserve and improve the historic Minnesota State Fair buildings and grounds and support State Fair educational, scientific and agricultural programs. Poppen also served on the Entertainment Subcommittee of the Downtown 2025 working group of Minneapolis civic and business leaders focused on a progressive future for downtown. Poppen also serves on the board of directors of Kansas City-based M3Sixty Administration LLC, a business that provides fund accounting, fund administration and transfer agent services to the mutual fund industry.
Poppen and his wife, Christy, who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Evangel, have four children – Natalie, Andrew, Nathan and Avery. The Poppen family resides in Chanhassen.