In 1919, Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, a sports editor of the Green Bay Post-Gazette, decided to create a new football team to take advantage of a sport that was blossoming in the Midwest. Lambeau’s employer, the Indian Packing Company, offered $500 for uniforms and equipment on the condition that the club be named the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers became a professional franchise when they joined the newly formed American Professional Football Association in 1921. However, the league revoked the franchise at the end of the season when the Packers were shown to have used college players in a game. Lambeau appealed to the league and they allowed the Packers to be reinstated, though Lambeau had to pay the league entry fee of $50 to do so. The team was in debt at this time, but local businessmen formed the Green Bay Football Corporation in 1923, which continues to run the franchise to this day as the only publicly owned team among those in the Big 4.
Over the next few decades, the team took the field at various home gridirons in Green Bay and throughout Wisconsin. In 1957, the team moved into City Field, which was renamed Lambeau Field in 1966. Since then, multiple expansions, including a major renovation in 2003, have allowed Lambeau to remain one of the premier destinations in the NFL. The most important addition is the Atrium, a large, indoor spot with attractions that allows fans to get there early and stay warm before heading out to their seats.
Since the Ice Bowl game on New Years Eve 1967, Lambeau has been known as “The Frozen Tundra”, although it has never been frozen during a game since then. The same can’t be said for the fans, who endure temperatures well below freezing to cheer on their team. In this case, “their team” is entirely accurate, as many fans own a piece of the club, something that cannot be said anywhere else in the NFL.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Atrium is the place to eat before the game. First, it is indoors so your food will remain warm. There are also a few standing tables here, if you beat the rush. There are four concessions that open before the gates, allowing you the time to relax and enjoy your meal. The Meat Packing Company offers a Jumbo Bratwurst for $9 and a Jumbo Hot Dog for $8, while the Wisconsin staple Cheese Curds are $6.25.
Waffle Fries with Cheese were added to the menu starting in 2012 and are just $5. Goin' Deep Pizza has Cheese or Pepperoni personal pies for $6.25, while the Boomerang Café offers a variety of burgers and sandwiches, including a Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrap for $8.25. Try the Pickle on a Stick for just $2, it is huge and messy and will certainly get you a few odd looks as you try to eat it with dignity. Finally, Titletown Grill has your Hot Turkey & Bacon Melt for $8.25 along with Chicken Tenders for $6.75 and Chop Block Chili for $5.50. Hungry yet?
Remember that these are your typical stadium concessions, so most of the food is made in advance. If you want something made-to-order, go to Curly's Pub, on the second floor above the team store. On game day the menu is limited, but the Pac'N'Cheese with sliced bratwurst is very tasty and covers your dairy, meat, and pasta food groups nicely. Add a beer and you've hit your grains as well, a healthy meal by all accounts. The combo will set you back $20 with tip. Curly's is a sit down establishment with a large bar area that includes plenty of TVs and a smaller restaurant, which has views of the plaza. There is also an interactive game area that is quite popular with the kids.
If you wait until you get inside the actual stadium, you will see mostly the same concessions around the concourse. These can get crowded, which is why the Atrium is the better option, as you have all that choice without waiting, as long as you get there three hours before game time.
Miller draft beer is $7.50, while soda ranges from $4.25 to $6.25. The most popular item is the hot chocolate though, at just $3 a good way to keep warm. For beer lovers, Pabst, Budweiser, Coors, and Hamm's can be found at $6, while Leinie Honey Weiss, Leinie Classic Amber, Blue Moon, Corona, Spotted Cow, Stella Artois, Heineken, and Redbridge are $6.50.
Overall, you will enjoy the variety on offer here, as long as you like cheese. Again, get there early (the Atrium opens at least four hours before game time, depending on whether it is an afternoon or evening game) and if you can, have two or three items because it all looks wonderful.
As you drive to the stadium, you will likely start to feel some level of anticipation as Lambeau is on many bucket lists and there is no other venue quite like it. After you find your parking spot, walk to the northeast corner and pay homage to the 14-foot tall statues of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi, which dominate the Robert E. Harlan Plaza.
To make your way inside Lambeau Field, there are six gates, but the majestic Miller Lite next to the statues brings you into the Atrium. Enjoy your food here, walk around the incredible team store, and watch as fans gather waiting for the gates to open. A noticeable buzz emerges as game time approaches.
When the doors finally open, you are ushered into the stadium proper. Concourses are wide but do get crowded quite quickly, as do the concession stands. Still, you should not have any difficulty roaming around. There are many short ledges that provide just enough table space to set your food and drink while standing and eating before moving on, just another simple touch that means so much to fans.
As you walk around the main concourse, the row of supports nearest the seating area represent the original perimeter of the stadium. Large wooden gates on hinges opened the venue to fans upon entry until a renovation several decades ago. The walls are covered with branded slogans leading to the seating area and very many historic references to the players and characters that make Green Bay Packers football great.
Section 105 points due north while section 132 points due south. The bowl is entirely enclosed providing no view of the areas outside the stadium. Truthfully, though, with Lambeau Field being the tallest building in Green Bay and situated in a largely residential area, what kind of view would one expect but homes and streets?
Unless you are seated in the luxury box areas, you will be completely exposed to the elements, whatever they may be, depending upon the time of year. Embrace this and accept it for this is what makes football in these parts unique.
The seating bowl consists almost entirely of benches without backs or cup holders, and don't ever expect these to be replaced because capacity would be reduced significantly. In other words, you will be very cozy and likely become friends with your neighbor, especially with everyone wearing winter jackets. Many fans rent seat backs for $6, leaving them there after the game, which makes for an interesting sight. You need to get these early if you want one as they do sell out well before kickoff.
I attended a night game during my most recent visit, but previous Stadium Journey reviews have noted that you should not purchase tickets for seats in either the north end zone or east sideline for noon games. Seats in these areas provide you a great view of the sun and cause you to have arm stiffness from raising your hand to help in blocking the sun from your eyes. Even if you have to pay more for tickets in either the south end zone or west sideline, do it.
The best seats at Lambeau Field are west sideline between the 25-yard lines at row 20 or higher. These seats are directly behind the Packers sideline and provide great views of both video boards in the end zones. The sightlines are perfect, provide no obstructions and allow a full view of all you want to see at a game.
No matter where you sit at Lambeau Field, know the pitch in the rows within the seating areas is fantastic. You can see everything and you feel so close to the Packer faithful. As it was built a long time ago, building codes allowed for a structure with a steeper pitch in the risers, another fantastic reason to keep the original bowl intact.
Behind row 50, there is an aisle walkway providing a continuous walkway around the bowl. Above this walkway are ten rows of seats, rows 51 through 60. On the east side of the stadium, premium seats occupy these sections and are the very few outdoor seats with chair backs.
Private suites surround the stadium except in the south end zone and are inside even though there are sliding glass panels that allow for access to the open air. Premium seats are available only on the east side of the field just below the suites and provide such luxury as servers to take food and beverage orders.
There are two large scoreboards high atop both end zones providing video replays and regular statistics. The team does a great job of providing the necessary information without overdoing it.
The Packers do not have their own cheerleaders; instead they currently use college cheerleading squads, which provides a different experience, as there are more acrobatics than just pom poms and skimpy clothing.
During the game, you will focus on the action on the field, which is how it should be. There are no distractions and the on-field promotions are limited. Just sit back and enjoy the game.
Nowhere in the world of Big 4 sports is the term neighborhood more accurate than Green Bay. Lambeau is surrounded by residential areas, particularly to the north and south. These areas consist of mostly small, single-family homes along tree-lined streets. Many of them have their own way of demonstrating their fandom, such as a huge Super Bowl trophy on the lawn of one house bordering Lombardi Avenue.
Of course, these houses are not what you are looking for in terms of a place to eat and drink on non-game days, but fret not; there are quite a few choices nearby. On the west side of the stadium and across the street is Kroll's West, a third-generation vintage diner that has operated at this location since 1974, its fourth since the business began in 1936. All first-time visitors should order the Kroll's double butter burger ($7.15, single is $4.45) with a side of fried cheese curds ($5.75). Wash it down with a bottle of Baumeister Root Beer ($2.50), locally produced since 1907. For dessert, consider one of their famous shakes or malts ($4.50).
Patrons are required to push a button at their table for service. There are private booths and open tables along with a counter with full view of the kitchen in action. Many seats have their own coat racks. There is also a bar area just to the right when you enter the front door. Be sure and look at the vintage Packers memorabilia when you enter. Kroll's West offers music before the game beginning at 9am and playing until game time. The band of the day plays a 90-minute set after the game as well.
On the other side of the stadium, Bart Starr Plaza Tailgate Party sits along Armed Force Drive. This outdoor tailgate event takes place three hours prior to game time right in front of the Resch Center. For $25, fans enter to enjoy live entertainment, beer, wine, soda, water, hamburgers, brats, chips, potato salad, pickles and desserts. This is great fun. They also serve a "Go-Dog", the no-mess hot dog.
The Stadium View Bar is another great option just west of the stadium along Holmgren Way at Armed Forces Way. It is spacious with great service and decent food. This is a fun place to visit for sports and conversation any time of the year.
Just a block behind this row is Brett Favre's Steakhouse, which comes across as overrated given the price, and really doesn't suit the Packers blue-collar image.
The city and surrounding area has much more to offer, including the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and the Oneida Nation Casino. Green Bay may be a small town when compared to its fellow NFL cities, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to do. Take a few days and explore the area, just make sure to wear something green and gold to fit in.
These fans own their team. Literally. They go there not to get drunk, not to harass others, not to act like idiots, but to watch their team play a football game. They are friendly to visiting fans, even those from hated rival Chicago, as long as you are not too obnoxious. Packer fans don't leave early, they stay in their seats during the action, and they have a great time. This is what fandom should be about - the team.
I spoke with several fans and found them to be the most respectable and understanding among those I've met on a season-long trip around the NFL. There is no need to say any more, these are the best fans in football.
Parking can be found for free here just two blocks away, as long as you get there early. The neighborhood just north of Lombardi Avenue has no signs restricting parking, so if you get there several hours before game time, you will have no problem finding a spot. Later on, the locals here will open their lawns for a fee, usually costing $20. The problem with parking here is that it will take you ages to get out if you are not familiar with the area. If you happen to be heading to Milwaukee after the game, park along Shadow Lane, one block north of Lombardi Avenue and just east of Oneida Street. Point west and after a few right turns, you will be on the highway avoiding the traffic. Otherwise, expect a long wait as thousands of cars make their way around this small town with limited routes to a highway that seems to always be under construction.
Inside the stadium, the seating bowl remains comprised of benches, simply because installing seats would cause capacity to shrink. In other words, you won't have much room to move, especially when everyone is wearing winter jackets, but hey, the heat keeps you warm.
Concourses were wide enough and I had no trouble moving around. There are two concourses in the lower level, with the main one leading you to seats in row 25 and below. The upper concourse brings you out around row 50. There are signs indicating which is better to use depending on which row you are seated in, the best is to follow those if you are there close to game time.
Washrooms have long lines at halftime and even after the game, so expect to wait unless you can sneak out during a break in the action.
Tickets are not cheap and not easy to get. Still, this is an experience that cannot be duplicated and is well worth the admission. As most games are sold out, you will be forced to use the secondary market. If you wish to wait until game day, you can find the official ticket reseller spot, just west of Lambeau at the intersection of Oneida Street and Armed Forces Drive. The road is closed to pedestrian traffic and sellers roam this restricted area selling tickets for the game. For these salesmen to sell tickets above face value in this area, they must be licensed and display this license at all times, usually on their collar or on the jacket they are wearing. Failure to do so results in a $500 fine.
There are times when tickets are released a few days before the game, so check the Packers Twitter feed as these are announced.
The Atrium is a fantastic addition that makes all the difference in the experience, allowing fans to arrive hours before a night game and enjoy all that the stadium has to offer.
The stadium tour and Hall of Fame are best visited the day after the game, and well worth the $19 combined fee.
You will find little displays on the walls around the concourse; take the time to read them as well as they provide some insight into the history of the team.
The Tundra Tailgate Zone is another pre-game party spot, located in one of the two large white tents east of the stadium. There you can enjoy warmth, live music, food and drink, all with no cover charge. This is definitely a better area to grab a few beers than the Atrium.
High above the north end zone behind the Miller Lite Party Zone, you will find the five retired numbers, #14 Don Hutson, #3 Tony Canadeo, #15 Bart Starr, #66 Ray Nitschke and #92 Reggie White.
One thing to note is that there are two types of packages for season ticket holders. The Gold Package is known as the Milwaukee Package and includes the following games - Shrine Pre-Season Game and Games 2 & 5. The Green Package includes the Bishop's Pre-Season Charities Game and Games 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8. This was created to appease fans in Milwaukee, where a few games were held each year until 1995.
The Packers are a legendary franchise and Lambeau Field is a legendary stadium. There is so much to experience here that a single day is not enough. Whereas so many teams have become cynical about revenue streams, the Packers realize that they need this money to compete, so they offer value for your money. Yes, a few days in Green Bay does not come cheap, but at the end of it, you will feel like you have received your money's worth.
The approach to Lambeau Field eases you off Interstate 43, guides you through a snapshot of middle class America, and opens to an abundance of game-day parking and the smell of bratwurst. A simple and unassuming trek to the mecca of football. Lambeau Field is the longest hosting stadium in the National Football League, and the hallowed ground inside has been the setting for some of the greatest moments in the history of American sports. Visiting iconic Lambeau Field should be on the short list of any sports fan's bucket list.
Outside the stadium, as is the case at any major sports event in Wisconsin, fans are cooking brats on travel grills in front of tables full of typical tailgating goods. Weave your way through the cars to the stadium as you encounter the friendliest fans in the nation. After your ticket is scanned, you find yourself in a wide open concrete cavern dotted with an endless line of beer and brat stands.
With beer and brat in hand, you squeeze single file through a tunnel that opens gloriously onto the wide bowl of the field. The panoramic, unobstructed, sun-drenched view takes your breath away (or, it might be the ice cold wind, depending on the time of year). Take your seat. Are you up in the wind or down by the players? No matter: every seat features a spectacular view of the field; every seat offers you the game experience you expect from an NFL ticket.
Sit and enjoy. You'll gladly trade being squeezed onto cold aluminum bench seating for the opportunity to bask in the glory of professional football being played on the Hallowed Ground.
Lambeau Field is one of those iconic American sports landmarks that is on (or should be on) every sports traveler's must-see list. Opened in 1957 under the name City Stadium, it became what we know it as today after the founder of the Packers, Curly Lambeau in 1965.
You can see from anywhere. It is an amazing experience. I'm a bears fan first packers second. Soldier field doesn't even compare! Will never pay to see Soldier field again. Will pay anything for Lambeau! LOVE IT!!! When I went you were able to smoke. Now I hear you can't so that will be a problem since I have tickets for 1/2 game, but either way anything is better then dealing with Soldier field. That place is what they call hell on earth!
You aren't a football fan if you haven't made the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of St. Vincent (Lombardi). Every seat has a great view, phenomenal and friendly tailgating, easy access to the stadium (no real traffic issues) and tradition! Best place to see a game bar none!!
Went the year the Packers won the superbowl and saw them beat the 49ers. Best football stadium I have been to. I have been here, RCA Dome, and Ford Field. I am planning on going to Lucas Oil Stadium this year, but Lambeau will be hard to beat. GO PACK GO!
How is it possible that the country’s smallest major pro sports market is arguably its most popular and frequently visited? A rich tradition of football at its earliest stages and a quaint small-town to call home have much to do with this answer.
Out of Curly Lambeau’s return due to injury from a brief stint at Notre Dame where he participated valiantly for the Fighting Irish under legendary coach Knute Rockne, the Green Bay Packers began their journey in 1919.
The Green Bay Packers were born as a result of a conversation between Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, a sports editor of the Green Bay Post-Gazette. Curly Lambeau’s employer, Indian Packing Company, gave $500 for uniforms and equipment on the condition the team was named the Green Bay Packers.
The team took the field at various home gridirons in Green Bay and throughout Wisconsin. In 1957, the team moved into City Field which was later renamed Lambeau Field in 1966. After multiple expansions which largely were confined to adding additional seats, major renovations were made in 2003. These renovations were necessary to remain financially competitive by NFL standards and exceeded expectations.
Lambeau Field is a unique blend of modern technology and desired comforts with a respectful nod and tender embrace to the rich history of a nearly century-old franchise. As you watch the Packers from your seat, you will be amazed at how seemingly untouched the main seating bowl and surroundings are to the stadium’s early days.
Lambeau Field remains the tallest building in this small town, population 102,726. The surrounding Brown County contains 218,149 residents. It is far and away the smallest market of the four major sports, but the size of the market it calls home isn’t the only unique element of this team.
No other sports franchise is owned by the fans and there are currently about 150,000 shareholders of the team. Recent stock offerings have funded the renovations to this pigskin cathedral. In these offerings, no shareholder can own more than 200 shares and although there is no benefit in the form of dividend or distribution, one can say they own a professional sports franchise.
Most shareholders display proof of their prized ownership-stake, a stock certificate, typically framed and in full view hung on the walls of their homes or offices. Photos of the original and second stock certificates are shown in the photo gallery.
The aura of the market and the role it plays in pro football hits you when you land at Green Bay’s airport. You are welcomed with a large sign facing the runway which signals Titletown USA, a tagline given the Packers after securing five titles in seven years from 1961 through 1967.
If you arrive in winter, the ground might be frozen, but likely not as frozen as the ground was during it was on December 31, 1967 for the NFL Championship game. In what is known as “The Ice Bowl”, the Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 on a late touchdown by Bart Starr. The game was more known for its cold game-time temperature of minus 26 Fahrenheit with a wind chill of minus 44 Fahrenheit.
Since that game, the Lambeau Field gridiron has been known as “The Frozen Tundra”. Other spin-offs since then include Tundra-Vision for the dual scoreboards located in the end zone and a one-of-a-kind rally towel only available at the corner of Holmgren Way and Armed Forces Way just west of the stadium on game day.
It’s Claytime concession stand (owned by Ryan Waterstreet) exclusively sells the “Tundra Towel” and bears the slogan “The Cold Can Not Contain Us”, an important part of the home field advantage in Green Bay. At $12, it’s a nice piece of Lambeau lore to cheer with at the game and take home with you to remember the experience.
During the early part of the football season, the temperature range is a high of 71 and a low of 49, but as the season wears on, the December games have a range of a 30 high and a 15 low. Average snowfall in Green Bay is 47 inches for the year, 17 of them coming in the last two months of the regular season. If the home season stretches into January, you can tack on another 14 inches.
Still, there is good news if you arrive several days early before a game and it snows. You might be asked to shovel snow out of the seating area. Dress warm, bring rugged winter wear and you will be handed a shovel and paid $9.00 an hour. Workers shovel snow to the walkways where a chute allows it to slide down to the field. Now how cool would that be just to say you did it?
1990 South Ridge Rd.
Green Bay, WI 54304
1963 Holmgren Way
Green Bay, WI 54304
2161 S Oneida St
Green Bay, WI 54304
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