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    The festivities will take place at two different locations in the Tampa Bay area Saturday. The main pep rally will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, located at 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla. The second event will be held from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at The Varsity Club, located at 24091 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater, Fla.

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Mike Spofford

Mike Spofford has worked as a sportswriter in Wisconsin since 1995 and has been a packers.com staff writer since 2006. He has covered the Packers' last two Super Bowl appearances, XXXII and XLV.

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Packers open preseason on national TV

Posted Apr 4, 2012


Aug. 9, at San Diego Chargers, 7 p.m., TV: ESPN
Aug. 16-19, CLEVELAND BROWNS (Gold pkg.), TBA, TV: WGBA/state (Midwest Shrine Game)
Aug. 23-26, at Cincinnati Bengals, Time TBA, TV: WGBA/state
Aug. 30-31, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, TBA, TV: WGBA/state (Bishop’s Charities Game)

Specific dates and times to be announced

***

Coming off a 15-1 season, the Packers are sure to get plenty of national television exposure in 2012, and it will begin right away in the preseason.

The Packers will open the 2012 preseason on Thursday, Aug. 9, at San Diego on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT. This will mark the third straight year the Packers will play a preseason game on national TV, and the sixth time in Mike McCarthy’s seven seasons as head coach.

The NFL released the league-wide preseason schedule on Wednesday, pinpointing the dates for the nationally televised games. The rest of the preseason games don’t have specific dates scheduled yet, but the opponents and locations are known.

In Week 2 of the preseason (Aug. 16-19), the Packers will host Cleveland. In Week 3 (Aug. 23-26), Green Bay travels to Cincinnati, and in Week 4 (Aug. 30-31), the Packers will host Kansas City. Those three games will be shown on the Packers’ statewide TV network.

The Packers played both San Diego and Kansas City in the regular season last year, defeating the Chargers but absorbing their only regular-season loss against the Chiefs.

All of the Packers’ preseason opponents are from the AFC, the first time that has occurred since 2005. The Packers had played one NFC team in the preseason every year under McCarthy.

The Thursday night preseason opener will almost certainly shift the Packers’ training camp schedule. Teams are allowed to open training camp 15 days prior to their first preseason contest, so rather than begin camp on a weekend, as the Packers have in the past (the preseason opener has fallen on a Saturday the last three years), they’ll likely have players report a few days earlier.

The Packers will be playing both Cleveland and Kansas City in the preseason for the third straight year. The last preseason meeting with Cincinnati came in 2008, while the most recent one with San Diego was in 2006, McCarthy’s first preseason game as head coach.

The full NFL regular-season schedule is expected to be announced later this month.

For the official press release on the preseason schedule, click here.

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