GREEN BAY – To accommodate more fans, thought was given to holding Brett Favre’s Packers Hall of Fame induction ceremony away from Lambeau Field, or inside the stadium bowl itself.
Neither was a sensible option, according to Bob Harlan, a Hall of Fame board member and former Packers President/CEO, who spoke to the media on Friday about the upcoming July 18 ceremony, which will remain in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
“We talked going to other venues,” said Harlan, in discussing how the Packers and the Hall of Fame arrived at the decision to sell tickets inside the stadium bowl for fans to view the induction, which will also be televised live locally and nationally by team partner Journal Broadcast Group and streamed live on packers.com.
“Brett’s illustrious 16-year career in the National Football League took place right here. This is where it belongs. I think to move it away from Lambeau would be a huge mistake.”
Fans purchasing $4 tickets to watch the ceremony on the stadium video boards will be addressed directly by Favre before the live broadcast begins.
As for moving the entire ceremony inside the stadium bowl, the risk of inclement weather was deemed too great.
“There were many negatives, the No. 1 problem being the weather,” Harlan said. “If we get rain before or during the event, we have a horrible problem, and if we get an electrical storm, we won’t be able to televise the event after promising it to fans across the country.”
Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Favre’s charitable foundation. The ticket sales also will give event organizers an attendance number to plan and prepare for, whether it be 5,000 or 55,000.
“We really don’t have the slightest idea from the standpoint of fan response,” said Denny Tattum, vice president and director of sales and marketing for the Packers Hall of Fame, Inc. “I can honestly say from the phone calls we’ve been receiving, if that is any measure of active interest, I would say we’ll have a stadium that is representative of Favre fans throughout the country.”
This summer, coinciding with the opening of the Hall of Fame’s new facility, Favre will become just the sixth individual to be inducted by himself, joining founder Bill Brault (1995), Ron Wolf (2000), Harlan (2004), Reggie White (2006) and Mike Holmgren (2012).
Favre will simultaneously have his number retired on July 18, making the dual ceremony a first of its kind in team history. His name and retired number will then be formally unveiled in the stadium’s north end zone during a to-be-determined 2015 regular-season home game.
Harlan stressed that throughout his discussions with Favre, the iconic quarterback wanted the fans to be given top consideration for what promises to be an “historic evening,” to use Harlan’s phrase.
“Every time we talked, it was the No. 1 item on his list,” Harlan said. “Are we taking care of the fans? And I promised him we would.
“I know what this means to the fans. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we looked at every option.”
Press release: Additional viewing opporunitites announced for Favre HOF ceremony