SBD/May 9, 2011/Facilities

Packers Have Plans To Expand Lambeau Field, Could Add 7,500 Seats

Lambeau expansion project could add as many as 7,500 seats
Packers VP/Administration & General Counsel Jason Wied on Friday said that the team "hopes to begin construction on an expansion of the south end-zone area at historic Lambeau Field after next year's Super Bowl in February," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Wied said that consultants believe the Packers "can add as many as 7,500 seats in the south end-zone area, which was left open" when the team finished its $295M Lambeau Field makeover in '03. Current capacity at Lambeau is 73,128. Wied disclosed that the team "would finance the construction -- a cost estimate was not released -- on its own," and added that there "will be no public tax financing of the project." While the Packers "have not arrived at a financing plan, imposition of a user fee would seem likely because other season-seat holders paid the user fee during the last construction project." Walker noted a "stock sale, last held in 1997-'98, would be problematic because it would have to overcome regulatory hurdles as well as approval from NFL owners." Wied said that current season-ticket holders, "as well as those on the waiting list," received surveys last week "asking for input on the best seating configurations." The survey "includes various indoor and outdoor seating concepts that the team says 'would be unlike any other concepts currently being offered at other NFL facilities.'" Wied noted that "one idea being discussed internally is giving existing seat holders the option of moving to the new seating in the south end-zone area and giving incoming seat holders the opportunity to purchase seats in the current bowl" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/7). In Green Bay, Tony Walter noted the Packers also are "considering a new façade and entry gate on the south side of the stadium that would include elevators to all levels." New tickets that become available "will go to people on the team’s waiting list, except for standing-room-only tickets that will be sold game-by-game" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 5/8).

LET IT GROW? In Milwaukee, Michael Hunt wrote for the Packers, coming off a Super Bowl-winning season, "now's the time to strike if you're really going to add a lot more seats." The team looks "set up to be competitive for a relatively long time," and the "economy is getting better." Hunt added, "In the whole world, there's just one Lambeau Field. But how big is too big?" (JSONLINE.com, 5/7).
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