The Packers are forgoing Fan Fest for 2012, and will continue to evaluate the event. Our goal is to enhance the event by examining its structure, programming elements and fan feedback. We also will be looking at the time of year for the event. The event’s future is undecided at this time.
The organization has enjoyed hosting the event during its six-year run and appreciates the interest and support of the thousands of fans who have attended.
Reached for comment by the Green Bay Press Gazette, Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey said the following:
We want to continue to evaluate the event. (We’re evaluating) what is the best time of year to have an event. We’ll see how that works this year. That will certainly be one of the considerations. It was convenient to have it when players were in town for workouts. They were already here. It didn’t disrupt their schedule. In terms of logistics, that helped out. We want to have an event that is attractive to fans and have them really excited about attending. We want to improve on the event we had. I think we’ll see how the offseason plays out and continue to look and see what is the right mix, time of year and format.
It would seem Fan Fest is somewhat a casualty of the new CBA, which doesn't allow teams to bring players in until mid-April, which plays havoc with coach Mike McCarthy's regular offseason schedule. (Much more concerning than the cancellation of a fan event is the effect this could have on his quarterbacks school, which quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn have both cited as important to their development.)
I know there are those who loved Fan Fest. Myself, I thought it was really overpriced for what it was - the chance to stand online for hours to get less than a minute with a Packers star, either current or former, and an opportunity to get a quick photo before being ushered along by ever-present Packers staff.
There were other events as well, of course, such as Q & A's with Packers greats, and presentations by Ted Thompson on how his scouting department works or Winston Moss on the 3-4 defense. But again, the bang-for-the-buck just wasn't there.
I hope the Packers give some serious consideration to combining some kind of fan-driven event and a draft party of some kind. The draft is when even casual fans become interested in the team again. Plus, at that point the team would be back in town and it might be easier to have current players attend without having to fly them in from their offseason homes.
Here's hoping the Packers find another avenue to connect with their fans. This is, after all, a group that bought up large quantities of "stock" a few months ago and is helping to finance the current work being done at Lambeau.
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