The possibilities are intriguing.
During Thursday’s annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field, Packers Vice President of Administration/General Counsel Jason Wied shared with the roughly 11,700 in attendance a video of what an expansion of the stadium’s south end zone could look like in the coming years.
For a look at that video, click here.
It’s just a concept, and plenty of planning is still in the works, but an addition of roughly 7,000 seats – along with the new video boards and north end zone entrance tower that will come first, in 2012 – would certainly give the iconic Lambeau a new look. Most importantly, it would keep Lambeau generating the type of revenue that has kept the franchise among the league’s most financially successful since the stadium’s initial renovation in 2003.
“Our job every day is to try to come up with ways to keep this organization solvent and sustainable and viable for another generation,” Wied told the shareholders. “That’s the point of everything that we do.
“One of the best ways for us to do that is to continue to invest in this stadium.”
The team would finance the stadium improvements itself, Wied said, one of the benefits of the team’s financial position built over the past eight years, and of the credits and incentives for stadium enhancements built into the new collective bargaining agreement.
The Packers aren’t going to stop there, either. Further down the line, the organization hopes to re-develop some of the areas surrounding Lambeau Field.
Speaking to reporters following the shareholders meeting, President/CEO Mark Murphy said some of the ideas under discussion include a youth sports village, a health and wellness clinic, and an exhibition hall to potentially replace the aging Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, which sits directly across Oneida Street from Lambeau.
“Those are more going to be in joint partnership with the local community,” Murphy said. “That’s really the Packers working in conjunction with the city (of Green Bay), the village of Ashwaubenon and the county.”
Murphy was asked if that could eventually mean a new location for the Packers Hall of Fame, which currently resides on the lower level of the Lambeau Field Atrium. He said the Hall of Fame would not be moved “off campus” but would still reside in the Atrium or attached to it.
“Those are all things we’re looking at,” Murphy said.
Any development that comes to fruition over the next several years should only increase the franchise’s economic benefit on the entire community.
Wied shared some interesting figures during his report to the shareholders, noting that according to a study commissioned last year, the Packers’ economic impact equates to $1,100 per person in the greater Green Bay area.
That’s five times greater than the per capita economic impact of the Cowboys on Dallas, and almost 10 times that of the Chargers on San Diego.
“The impact this organization has on this community compared to other NFL teams really helps put things in perspective,” Wied said.
Other items of note that Murphy shared with reporters:
The team is still hoping to find a date in August to conduct a visit to the White House as Super Bowl champions.
The season opener, and the game to kick off the entire NFL season, on Sept. 8 at Lambeau Field against New Orleans will bring with it a handful of extracurricular activities. Those include a concert on game day outside the stadium, youth football clinics throughout the week, a golf outing, and other events, Murphy said. Commissioner Roger Goodell also will be in attendance for the opener.