The Packers have acquired 28 acres surrounding Lambeau Field, an area they plan to cultivate, which has been dubbed the "Titletown Development District." President and CEO Mark Murphy and vice president of administration and general counsel Jason Wied gave the owners a preview of some of the options being considered that they're hopeful would bring in an estimated 7 to 8 million visitors per year compared to the estimated 2 t0 3 million Lambeau Field currently annually attracts.
Among the ideas is a youth sports complex with multiple baseball and football fields capable of hosting such high-profile events like the Little League World Series or the Pop Warner Championship being held in the shadow of Lambeau Field.
“We think we can build something that’s world class,” said Wied. “We think we can build something that people will enjoy from all over the Midwest and around the world."
Other options being contemplated include an exhibition hall that could host trade shows, a health and wellness facility, and destination retail outlets that would complement the already booming business the Packers Pro Shop enjoys.
Various other uses for Lambeau Field that would bring in additional visitors are also being explored. Wied mentioned ideas that included concerts, college football games and outdoor hockey games.
Murphy acknowledged that while these plans for their proposed district are on the horizon, they're still in the preliminary stages.
"It’s bringing economic development and visitation to the area," Murphy told the media. "I think it will be beneficial to the community, create jobs at a time when the economy is really struggling. It could be a shot in the arm for people. I think it would really build on and tie into the original renovation in 2003. That’s the real hope."
While the Packers are hopeful it will benefit the community as a whole, it will also have a huge benefit on the team's bottom line. Any revenue made by the Packers at the local level is revenue they don't have to share with 31 other NFL teams.
Murphy also shed insight into plans for expanding Lambeau Field, in particular the south end zone.
"Still looking at it," said Murphy, "but probably increasing our total capacity to just under 80,000. Maybe about 4,000 additional seats, and Jason [Wied] mentioned it, I think the concept of having some areas within the stadium where you have standing room only I think would be pretty attractive. We don’t have that now, and I think it would be a nice benefit for our fans to add that to the stadium."
Murphy said the additional seating was in the interests of those on the season-ticket waiting list, the list itself over 80,000 strong, nearly the capacity of an another stadium. Sketches were shown to on the scoreboard that displayed a proposed five-level expansion in the south end zone area that would build what has been called a "wall of sound."
Wied expanded upon the idea telling about plans for rooftop seating.
“We think putting people on the roof of this stadium and in these really unique locations and giving them standing room only will make this the most unique NFL experience you could possibly have,” said Wied.
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