Walker's pro-Packer graffiti erased from Vikings stadium beam

Gov. Scott Walker
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker makes a re-election campaign stop at a small business on Sept. 23.
Darren Hauck / AP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tried to slip a little secret cheer for his favorite NFL team into the new Vikings stadium — but it didn't work, according to the company building the $1 billion sports facility in Minneapolis.

"Governor Walker did sign a piece of steel that was in a fabrication shop in Wisconsin, but his signature and whatever else he wrote has been removed from that piece of steel," said John Wood, senior vice president for Mortenson Construction.

The New York Times reported this weekend that Walker claimed to have written "Go Packers" on a beam being fabricated in West Salem, Wisconsin, during a campaign visit to the River Steel factory.

Election 2014: Local, statewide and national results | Coverage of key races | Photos from around Minnesota

Wood said River Steel was a supplier to the main steel fabricator, Minneapolis-based LeJeune Steel.

Walker boasted of the graffiti in a campaign appearance in Schofield, Wisconsin, on Friday.

"I understand it was merely erased," Wood said, noting that it could easily be removed with a power grinder, a tool often used in steel fabrication.

Signatures on construction projects aren't unusual. So-called "topping out" ceremonies often include commemorative notes. Target Field has one, Wood said.

"All of the workers that were on the job site and people that were invited to the event were invited to put a message or put their names on the last piece of steel that was erected on the project. That sort of thing is sort of normal — but we certainly don't condone anyone doing it without any permission to do so."

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.