Name: Lambeau Field
Address: 1265 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, WI, 54304
Inauguration: 29 September 1957
First match: Green Bay-Chicago Bears (21-17)
Capacity (Present): 80,321
Team: Green Bay Packers
Team colours: Green, Gold & White
Green Bay Packers
P.O. Box 10628
Green Bay, WI 54307-0628
Lambeau Field is an outdoor athletic stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the home field of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. It opened in 1957 as City Stadium, replacing the original City Stadium at East High School as the Packers' home field. Informally known as New City Stadium for its first eight seasons, it was renamed in August 1965 in memory of Packers founder, player, and long-time head coach, Curly Lambeau, who had died two months earlier.
The stadium's street address has been 1265 Lombardi Avenue since August 1968, when Highland Avenue was renamed in honor of former head coach Vince Lombardi. It sits on a block bounded by Lombardi Avenue (north); Oneida Street (east); Stadium Drive and Valley View Road (south); and Ridge Road (west). The playing field at the stadium sits at an elevation of 640 feet (195 m) above sea level.
The stadium completed its latest renovation in the summer of 2013 with the addition of 7,000 seats high in the south end zone. About 5,400 of the new seating is general, while the remaining 1,600 seats are club or terrace suite seating. With a capacity of 80,750, Lambeau Field is the fourth largest stadium in the NFL with standing room, but is third in normal capacity. It is now the largest venue in the state of Wisconsin, edging out Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
In 1955, the other owners in the league had threatened to force a move to Milwaukee if the stadium conditions in Green Bay were not improved. In 1956, Green Bay voters responded by approving (70.3%) a bond issue to finance the new stadium. The original cost in 1957 was $960,000 (paid off in 1978) and its seating capacity was 32,500.
The site, bordered on three sides by the village of Ashwaubenon, was selected because it had a natural slope, ideal for creating the bowl shape. The outdoor practice fields (Clarke Hinkle Field and Ray Nitschke Field) and Don Hutson Center are all in Ashwaubenon, as was The Packers Hall of Fame until 2003.
The new City Stadium was officially opened on September 29, 1957, as the Packers beat the Bears 21-17. In a ceremony before the game, the stadium was dedicated by then-Vice President Richard Nixon.
Although they now had a modern facility, the Packers continued their tradition (1934-1994) of playing two or three regular-season games a year at County Stadium in Milwaukee, 120 miles to the south. Beginning in 1995, regular season games were no longer scheduled in Milwaukee and Lambeau Field became their only home field. Former Milwaukee ticket holders receive tickets to a preseason game and games 2 and 5 of the regular season home schedule, in what is referred to as the “Gold package”. Green Bay season ticket holders receive tickets to the remaining home games as part of their “Green package.”
Demand for tickets at the new stadium easily outstripped supply. In 1961, four years after it opened, the stadium’s capacity was increased to 38,669.
Since then, the Packers have been regularly increasing the size of the seating area to accommodate more fans. The bowl was increased to 42,327 in 1963, to 50,852 in 1965 and to 56,263 in 1970, when the stadium was fully enclosed for the first time as the various stands were joined into one continuous oval around the field.
Construction of 72 private boxes in 1985 increased the seating capacity to 56,926, and a 1990 addition of 36 additional boxes and 1,920 theatre-style club seats brought the number to 59,543. In 1995, a $4.7-million project put 90 more private boxes in the previously open north end zone, for the first time giving the stadium the feel of a complete bowl and upping capacity to 60,890.
By the end of the 1990s, the Packers believed that they needed a more modern facility to remain financially competitive in the NFL. Rather than build a new stadium, Chairman/CEO Bob Harlan and President/COO John Jones unveiled a plan to renovate Lambeau Field in January of 2000. The renovations were to be partially funded by the team, and partially by a 0.5% sales tax in Brown County. Their plan won voter approval in September 2000, and construction began early the following year.
Lambeau Field has been occupied by the Packers longer than any other NFL team has occupied its own current stadium. In 2006, the Packers completed their 50th year at Lambeau, tying the all-time NFL occupancy record set by the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field (1921-1970). (Soldier Field in Chicago has been the site of a football stadium longer, but was not the home of the Bears until 1971.) In 2007, barring an unexpected event, the Packers will begin their NFL record 51st season at the stadium.
Although the capacity has more than doubled since Lambeau Field was opened, demand for tickets remains high – season tickets have been sold out since 1960, and more than 74,000 names remain on the waiting list.
With the preservation of the seating bowl, Lambeau Field remains true
to its past, while still resembling a state-of-the-art facility. It is
often referred to as the “crown jewel of the National Football League.”
In 2010, plans were announced by the Green Bay Packers to install new high definition scoreboards in place of their current scoreboards; plans for a new sound system were announced as well. Later the plans were expanded to include adding as many as 7,500 seats both inside and outside as well as viewing platforms and lounge areas. On May 5, 2011 the Packers sent out an online survey to 30,000 season-ticket holders, club-seat holders and individuals on the season-ticket waiting list to get feedback from the fans on several concepts being considered for the south end-zone development. On August 25, 2011 plans were officially announced to add 7,500 new seats to the south end zone. The new seats are outdoors with the exception of one indoor row. The seats include heated areas that melt snow as it falls (a concept tested on a small scale during winter 2010), intending to solve the logistical problem of shoveling snow from an "upper deck" seating area. The snow that falls into the original bowl area is shoveled by compensated volunteers from the community using a system of temporary chutes placed in the aisles and carts to remove the snow from the stadium.
The new sound system was completed in time for the 2011–2012 NFL season. On August 25, 2011 Packers president Mark Murphy announced that the expansion of Lambeau would not be paid by taxpayers but by the team itself. After construction was completed on the south end zone seating in the summer of 2013, Lambeau became the 3rd largest stadium in the NFL, with a capacity of 80,750. Additional construction included two new tower gates for the north and south end zone. Lambeau Field also installed Mitsubishi Diamond Vision Video Boards, as well as a rooftop viewing terrace in the north end zone for club seat holders during games. The rooftop viewing terrace and video boards were completed in time for the 2012 season.
In 2013, the Packers announced a new $140.5 million renovation project for the Lambeau Atrium entrance, that will be entirely paid by the Packers without public funding. The project began in March 2013 and is expected to be completed in June 2015.
The Packers plan to remove ground between Bob Harlan Plaza and Lombardi Avenue, which will now be the basement of the atrium. They will move the Pro Shop to the new ground level. The Packers Hall of Fame will move to the second floor of the atrium where Curly's Pub is currently located. Curly's will move to the main floor where the Pro Shop is currently held. This renovation project is referred to as "Phase II", with the first phase considered as the 7,500 seats that were installed previously. Curly's will be accessible from Harlan Plaza and the hall of fame will have more room for exhibits. The new setup will be easier for fans to get to Curly's as it was difficult for fans in the past.
Phase II will also include the following:
Curly's Pub and the Packers Hall of Fame will be closed temporarily during some part of the project, probably in 2014, but the Pro Shop will remain open.
The renovation project is expected to create approximately 1,500 jobs and pay more than $60 million in wages. Team president and CEO Mark Murphy said 95 percent of spending on the project will be done in Wisconsin and 69 percent in northeastern Wisconsin.
Driving Directions to Lambeau Field
Coming From the South on Interstate 43:
Take I-43 north to Highway 172 west. Take 172 approximately 6 miles to the Oneida Street/Ashland Avenue exit. Turn left (west) on Pilgrim Way to Oneida Street. Turn right (north) on Oneida Street. Continue north on Oneida Street for approximately 2 miles to stadium.
Alternate route: Turn right (east) on Pilgrim Way and continue to Ashland Avenue. Turn left (north) on Ashland Avenue and continue north to Lombardi Avenue. Turn left (west) on Lombardi Avenue and continue to stadium.
Coming From the South on Highway 41:
Take Highway 41 north to the Lombardi Exit (exit #167). Turn right (east) on Lombardi Avenue and continue for approximately 1.5 miles to stadium.
Alternate route: Exit Highway 172 east (exit #165) and continue to Oneida Street/Ashland Avenue exit. Turn left on Vanderperren Way and continue to Ashland Avenue. Turn left (north) on Ashland Avenue and continue north to Lombardi Avenue. Turn left (west) on Lombardi Avenue and continue to stadium.
Coming From the North on Highway 41/141:
Take 41/141 south to the Lombardi Exit (exit #167). Turn left (east) on Lombardi Avenue and continue for approximately 1.5 miles to stadium.
Alternate route: Exit at Mason Street (exit #168). Turn left (east) on Mason Street and continue to Oneida Street. Turn right (south) on Oneida Street and continue to Lombardi Avenue and stadium.
Coming From the West on Highway 29/32:
Take Highway 29 east to Highway 41 south. Take 41/141 south approximately 1.5 miles to the Lombardi Exit (exit #167). Turn left (east) on Lombardi Avenue and continue for approximately 1.5 miles to stadium.
Exit at Mason Street (exit #168). Turn left (east) on Mason Street and
continue to Oneida Street. Turn right (south) on Oneida Street and
continue to Lombardi Avenue and stadium.