Murphy Takes 5 is a monthly column written by President and CEO Mark Murphy. On the first Saturday of every month, Mark will write about a topic of interest to Packers fans and the organization, and then answer five fan questions. Fans are encouraged to email Mark with their name and hometown at: MurphyTakes5@packers.com
Former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson receives his gold jacket. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
With his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this evening, today will truly be a special day for Dave Robinson. It is the greatest honor an NFL player can receive and is particularly sweet for Dave because the induction comes so many years after his playing career ended. Also, since Dave lives in the Akron-Canton area and has been actively involved with the Hall of Fame, I know the induction has special meaning for him. It is also a great day for the Packers organization. Dave is the 22nd Packers player or coach to be inducted (we're second behind the Bears in the NFL in terms of the number of inductees), and our first inductee since Reggie White in 2006.
A number of us from the Packers are here in Canton for the induction. You can follow the events of the weekend on Packers.com. Although I've been associated with the NFL all of my adult life, and have had teammates and coaches inducted in the past, I've never been able to attend the induction ceremony. I'm really looking forward to experiencing the entire weekend. The Pro Football Hall of Fame staff and the entire Akron-Canton community do an excellent job planning the entire weekend, with events scheduled from Thursday through Sunday. The highlights of the weekend are the induction ceremony on Saturday evening and the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Dolphins on Sunday night. I encourage our fans to watch the induction ceremony on Saturday at 7 p.m. CDT to see Dave Robinson take his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Now, on to your questions:
Tim from Neenah, WI
Do you have any special plans for the South End on Family Night, since it will be the first time many of our fans will be able to see the new addition?
Great question, Tim. We do have special plans for the South End on Family Night. We thought it would be a great night to recognize all the people who helped build the South End. We are providing free tickets to all the employees (and a guest) of Miron Construction and all the subcontractors who worked on the project. They did an outstanding job and took great pride in the work, and we thought this would be a good way to thank them. We are also providing free tickets to a number of Shopko employees, our gate partner for the South End, as well as the people who live in the neighborhood immediately south of the stadium. It should be a great evening – we have all kinds of events planned and expect 75,000 people to attend, which would be our biggest crowd ever. Also, we guarantee good weather!
Julie from Sun Prairie, WI
Some days I dream about what it would be like to work for the Packers organization. Other days seem difficult for the Packers. What has been one of your best days as president? What has been one of the most challenging for you as president of the Packers organization?
Julie, the Packers organization is very special and unique, and I feel privileged to work for such a great organization. However, working for the Packers is like all other jobs, in that you have good days and bad days. Generally, I really enjoy interacting with our fans, and training camp is an especially good time to meet fans (I love watching our players riding the kids' bikes). The Super Bowl victory was probably the best day. In terms of challenging times, the loss to Seattle last year and the aftermath that followed was difficult. I was very frustrated – I believe we were wronged, but there was nothing I could do about it.
Mark from Lake Mills, WI
Revenue is important to the Packers' continued success. How come the Packers do not make a continuous offering of stock to the public? Have the Packers considered this?
Mark, in order to conduct a stock sale, we have to get permission from the League. In the 1980s, the League voted to prohibit community-owned teams, but grandfathered in the Packers. Since other teams cannot conduct stock sales to generate revenue, the concern is that we would have a competitive advantage if we were allowed to have a continuous stock sale. As a result, we've only had five sales in the history of the organization. The most recent stock sale was approved with the provision that all the proceeds from the sale would go into the stadium project. The League did not want the money to be spent on players or coaches. I believe it will be another 10 to 15 years before the Packers conduct the next stock sale.
A question from Sonja
With the addition of 7,000 extra seats and discussion of expanding other venues west of the stadium, are there any plans for additional parking?
Thanks for the question, Sonja. We realize that gameday parking is a concern for many of our fans, and improving the parking experience for our fans is a priority. As the Lambeau Field facility has grown, we've been able to maintain parking spaces on the main lot for our existing regular parking clients and our premium ticket members by moving staff parking off the main lot to adjacent land we own to the south, east and west of the stadium. Area businesses surrounding the stadium have become more involved in offering parking over the years, too, as have the homeowners in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium. As development plans for land we own to the west come together, parking will definitely be a consideration. The Green Bay Metro gameday bus lines also have been a great addition as a parking-shuttle option for fans. Thousands of fans have been using the buses and it continues to grow.
A question from Mark
How many folks came off the season ticket waiting list, due to the 7,000 new seats in the South End Zone?
Thanks Mark. I've been asked by quite a few people about our season ticket waiting list and the impact of the South End Zone project on that list. Of the 7,000 seats in the South End, about 5,400 are general ticket seating. The season ticket waiting list only applies to general seats. When we went to people on the waiting list, a couple of factors impacted exactly how many people would actually come off the list. First, they had to decide if they wanted to pay the stadium district user fee and buy the tickets. Approximately 77 percent of the people that were offered tickets decided to buy them. If a person decided not to buy the tickets, their name was removed from the waiting list. The second factor is how many tickets they decided to buy (for example, a person could have been on the list for four and decided to purchase only two). Also, we are unique in that we have two season-ticket packages. So, this year, a total of 5,000 names came off the waiting list, with 3,800 becoming new season ticket members (and 1,200 being removed from the list). We now have approximately 100,000 on the waiting list. The people who came off the waiting list had been on the list for an average of 30 years. It was very gratifying at the "Meet Your Seat" event to see how excited people were to finally have their own seats after waiting for so many years.
See the articles and videos about the "Meet Your Seat" event and a feature about Irene Larson who waited decades for her seats: