(Oconto, WI) Hi 92 Lo 71 - Today's blog is for the football fans out there. This was a fun day, for me anyway. We went to Green Bay to visit Lambeau Field, the home of the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers. It's such a legendary place - it's to pro football what Yankee Stadium is to baseball. And it's the oldest NFL stadium that's been in continuous use. (Chicago's Soldier Field is a little older, but the Bears played in Champaign, IL while they renovated the stadium, hence it hasn't been in "continuous use.") Anyway, enough history... on to the photos.
Lambeau Field looks very imposing when you approach it. It sits in the middle of a blue collar residential area. And it's the biggest thing in a city of only 100,000 population.
We got to the stadium around 10:30 when the first tour of the day was starting. We bought two tickets to the first available tour, which was at 11:30. So we had an hour to look around at the fabulous atrium area, which contains a sports bar, the Packers Hall of Fame, and the Packers Pro Shop.
The Pro Shop covers two stories, and is without a doubt the largest and finest sports team memorabilia shop we've ever seen! You name it, you can buy it, with a Packers logo on it.
A little before 11:30 our tour was called. It started at the two statues just outside the Atrium. One is the legendary Vince Lombard, coach of the Packers from 1959 through 1967, when they won 5 world championships (including the first two Super Bowls).
And the other is Curly Lambeau, first owner of the Packers and namesake of the stadium. It was pointed out that he's pointing directly at the window of the Packers Coach's office in the administrative area of the Atrium. Coincidence? Maybe, but it probably puts a little extra pressure on the coach.
We were taken up to the Club Level to experience what it's like to watch a game from a luxury suite. In a word... sweet!
Dee is enjoying the view.
We were then taken by elevator down six levels to the hallway outside the locker room. We weren't allowed inside the locker room, but we got to walk down the hallway and out through the tunnel to the field, just like the players. They played recorded crowd noise to make it feel like game day. A little cheesy, but hey... it's Wisconsin, land of cheese!
It really was cool to walk down the dark tunnel toward that bright light, and then out into the sunlight and see the beautiful stadium bowl all around us.
We were led to seats on the 50-yard line so we could experience what it's like to sit on "18 inches of heavenliness." That's what they call the bleacher seats (with no seat back).
I asked why, during all the renovations, they didn't install chair seats. Our guide said, to do that would reduce the seating capacity, which wouldn't be wise with thousands of folks on the season ticket waiting list. (Every Packers home game since 1960 has been sold out on a season ticket basis.) Also, bleachers are easier for snow removal. They just push the snow down the row onto chutes, then gravity takes over.
Here's the view from the best seats in the house.
I handed the camera to Dee to get one more picture...
...before we exited back out to the Atrium, and the tour was over. It was a great experience to see so much tradition. I'm a Miami Dolphin fan, but I've always had tremendous respect for Packer fans. After all, they own their team... the Packers is the only professional sports team that's publicly owned. Driving around Green Bay you can just see the Packers are a treasured part of the community, with that "G" logo everywhere! A fun day... I hope you enjoyed tagging along. Written by Jim