18

July

Packers Profit: Changes Coming To The Lambeau Field Atrium?

Lambeau Atrium

Not even 10 years old, is the Atrium in for its first renovation?

For those fans coming to Green Bay for one or several Packer games this season, you will notice immediately the changes in the south end zone with  ongoing construction that is adding of 6,600 seats as well as two new high definition video boards that are in place for the start of the 2012 season.

Those are changes to the stadium bowl.  Now the Packers are apparently eyeing up some changes to the Lambeau Field Atrium.

According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said the team has some ambitious plans for the first major renovation since the atrium was completed in 2003.

Some proposed plans include moving the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame from the basement of the atrium up to the second floor which is currently home to Curly’s Pub.  This would mean increased visibility for the Hall of Fame, according the team.

The restaurant in turn would move to the first floor of the atrium near the Packers Pro Shop.  The Packers said this would also increase visibility for Curly’s Pub.  Changes in the pro shop also might be coming, Murphy said.

With the Packers recently disclosing a record profit of $42.7 million in 2011, the team is obviously not resting on its laurels and continues to make sure the franchise is financially stable long term.  Keeping the Lambeau Field Atrium up to par with the rest of the NFL is crucial to that goal and its obvious Murphy recognizes that.

The team also should be able to re-sign existing sponsors as well as attract new ones.  As long as the product on the football field continues to be excellent, the Packers should have no trouble in continuing to put money in the till.

Improvements to the atrium and stadium proper are a big part of the development of the stadium district as well.  Cabela’s announced earlier this year it was building a store in Green Bay not too far from Lambeau Field and it is expected other major businesses will follow suit and build near the stadium.

It’s definitely a good time to be a Packer fan.

25

August

Green Bay Packers Unveil Lambeau Field Expansion Plans; Stock Sale Could Be Coming

How the Lambeau Field south end zone will look at the start of the 2013 season

The Green Bay Packers announced today their plans to expand Lambeau Field by 6,600 seats as well as adding a new entrance gate to the south and north end zones by the start of the 2013 season with groundbreaking scheduled for September 1 this year. Some of the funding could come from a new sale of Packers stock.

The seats will be added in four levels and the seats will contain seatbacks.    The project also includes a rooftop viewing area for club seat holders that will be available for special non-football events (like this year’s Kenny Chesney concert) as well.

Escalators and elevators are also being added to the north and south end zones to ease the flow of entry and exit of fans from the stadium.

The Packers are completely funding this project which will include some loans, according to the press release from the team.    A team stock sale is being considered and user fees similar to the 1999-2003 renovation of Lambeau Field is also being discussed.

Ticket prices are expected to be between the cost of a current bowl seat ($87) to club seat  prices (maximum $313).

Well, my first obvious thought is the more Cheeseheads to make noise at Lambeau, the better.  As you can see by the image, this isn’t truly “closing off” the bowl as there are gaps between the three sections of new seats.  Of course while noise is a good thing sometimes, you don’t want to become a Metrodome without a roof.

Regarding the stock sale, I’m excited.  This would  open the door to a whole new bunch of NFL owners and the continued tradition of the community and the Packers working together for the good of the team.  The downside is that if the price is at $500 a share (and it could be higher if a sale is held), that’s a lot of money for a family to fork over in this economy. 

Then again, knowing the resiliency of Packer Nation, they’ll find a way for this to happen.

Of course, some fans may be upset that some seats will feature backs as the rest of Lambeau has the old school bleachers.  The Packers in their press release did say that general seating would be featured but not all fans are comfortable on bleachers.  While I think the old bleachers are neat, it’s time to at least add some new modern seating.