It’s not unheard of to see the fans lining up as early as midnight the evening before, ready to rush in as soon as the doors open the following morning.
What’s the occasion? Tickets on sale?
No, it’s the annual Packers Pro Shop tent sale, an event that will see its 18th rendition on Saturday, June 4, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
The “camping-out” approach may be a little extreme, but fans have their reasons, and Packers Director of Retail Operations Kate Hogan has no doubt they’ll be back again this year, because the tent sale always has some features – whether it be players’ practice equipment, sideline gear or dynamite prices – unique to this sale.
“A lot of them are collectors looking for team apparel and equipment,” Hogan said. “Some are looking for real good bargains, shopping for Christmas presents for their whole family.”
This year’s tent sale has been shortened to one day, Saturday only, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Even those not among the earliest arrivals will still have plenty of merchandise to peruse.
The sale actually began back in 1994 as a three-day event, and it was held under a tent (or two) in the Lambeau Field parking lot before moving to the stadium’s west-side concourse and then to the Atrium after the renovation.
Its genesis was a way for the equipment staff to clear out years and years of stored team apparel and practice gear. Combine that with older lines of Pro Shop inventory priced to move and it quickly became an annual hit.
Some of the more popular “player-worn” items include shoes and cleats. In the past, some of the offerings have included practice jerseys, rain gear, old “G”-logo carpeting, desks from redecorated offices and food carts.
Hogan said there wasn’t anything highly unusual being offered this year, but the normal combination of team-worn gear and Pro Shop inventory will be available.
Super Bowl merchandise will not be part of this sale, she said. That’s still in high demand and new items are currently being added to the Pro Shop’s offerings.
“With the Super Bowl, some items take a while to develop or manufacture,” Hogan said. “We’ll keep adding new items in the store.”
The fans will be lined up, ready to pounce anyways.
“It’s like an old-fashioned sidewalk sale, the lowest prices of the year,” Hogan said. “It’s a way for us to say thanks to the people who shop with us all year.”