Danielle (Cowan) Ottman ’94

When U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis opened to the public in the summer of 2016, Danielle (Cowan) Ottman ’94 was already familiar with practically every one of the facility’s 1.75 million square feet.

Ottman began working as sales manager for the stadium, which is the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, in April 2015. Her job is to bring in visitors and events on the 350-plus days of the year when football isn’t being played. The WSU marketing graduate loves the variety and challenge of booking everything from weddings to major concerts.

“Everybody is just so excited to have a new venue in town,” Ottman said. “It’s been that way ever since I’ve started. The mix of people I get to talk to keeps everything fresh and new.”

U.S. Bank Stadium will host Super Bowl LII in 2018 and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019, events that will put the facility front- and-center in the sports world.

“As an event planner, it’s kind of a dream to get my hands on something like that. I have no idea what my role is going to be for the Super Bowl because we turn the stadium over to the NFL, but I’m going to try and enjoy being a part of it and learn as much as I can.”

Ottman, who grew up in Cottage Grove, Minn., came to Winona State knowing she wanted to study marketing. She said her professors, Dr. Jim Bovinet in particular, helped her develop and focus her interest.

“When I was a senior, he helped me make contact with the Minnesota Twins—he created a baseball card for me with my picture and resume,” Ottman said. “It was so cool to have something like that and to have a professor who took an interest and do something different to put myself out there.”

Ottman began her career working for the Minneapolis Women’s Expo, selling exhibit space and managing entertainment Danielle (Cowan) Ottman and celebrity appearances, then worked as event manager for the Twin Cities Food & Wine Experience and the Minneapolis Home + Garden Show before joining SMG, which manages U.S. Bank Stadium.

She said her wide range of experience working with event planning and understanding clients’ needs is why she isn’t intimidated by the idea of bringing people who aren’t wearing purple into U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Being able to work with other types of events with ties to the Twin Cities area— this is something I knew I could tackle,” Ottman said.

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Sarah DeLano