Barrier Meant To Blend Into Lambeau Surroundings

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If the new security barrier that will soon encircle most of Lambeau Field looks more like a decoration than an obvious protective device, well, that's the idea.

The planters, monuments, benches and bollards that will make up the new security barrier, set to be installed in July, will be a replication of the materials and colors used in the redevelopment of the stadium itself, which was completed in 2003.

The Packers have been working on the barrier with Wausau Tile, a Wisconsin firm that also contributed to the Lambeau Field redevelopment. Wausau Tile is an industry leader in barrier systems and has developed similar elements at venues such as the Kohl Center in Madison, Miller Park in Milwaukee, the RCA Dome in Indianapolis and the Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn., among others.

The company's experience is that when done right, the security barrier blends into the overall landscape of the facility and isn't necessarily recognized for the valuable level of security it provides, which is to prevent any vehicles from getting up-close access.

"A lot of people will have no realization of what those pieces are there for because they'll mirror the architecture of the stadium," said Jeff Gramling, a consultant for Wausau Tile during the development of the project. "People think they're there for decorative purposes.

"It was taken into account by the organization that we didn't want to make this look like it doesn't belong. So now rather than being something that would stand out, it blends in and contributes to the look of the stadium, and enhances it rather than detracts from it."

That was a key element in the planning process, and Wausau Tile's experience with these projects and the company's local roots made it the natural choice to manufacture the barrier's pieces and help direct the installation.

"It's going to match the stadium, which was very important to us," Packers Chairman Bob Harlan said. "We looked at the colors, and it's going to match the brick of the stadium, the cream color of the stadium. It will provide a nice walkway for fans where they can walk and not be interfered with by cars."

Harlan added that the protected walkway not only creates an added layer of security for the stadium as a whole, but it should help enhance the game-day experience for many fans as well.

The separation of the walkway from the parking lot also creates more opportunities to highlight, and add to, the commemorative bricks and other historical elements outside the Atrium, according to Pat Webb, executive director of the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District.

The project will eliminate a few hundred parking spaces but will not reduce the number of ADA parking spots. It will force some season-ticket holders to be relocated, and Ted Eisenreich, director of facility operations for Lambeau Field, said those affected will be contacted by the ticket office with options.

{sportsad300}Materials for the barrier could start arriving as early as next week, and installation is required to be completed by Aug. 18, the date of the Packers' first preseason home game.

Team officials and Wausau Tile discussed at length the options to give the barrier the proper look. Gramling said his company was proud to take on the assignment and do its part to not only preserve but add to the aesthetics of Lambeau Field.

"We're all very much fans, so not only is this a job but it's a great opportunity to be part of something that eventually will be historic and nostalgic," Gramling said.

"When you think football you think the 'frozen tundra' at Lambeau Field, so to put elements out in the parking lot that would just be concrete squares wouldn't do that building any justice."

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