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Fan Fest An All-Around Good Time


Fan Fest is now in the books, and from all accounts, everyone involved - fans, players, coaches, and staff - had a great time over the course of the three-day weekend event in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

3,000 fans filled the home of their favorite football team and were able to meet some of their favorite players, get some insight from the coaching staff, and even take a tour of the Packers' locker room.

"I thought it was a huge success," said Packers President and CEO Bob Harlan. "I spent time down on the floor all three days and I just got great comments about the event and the attitude of the players and our staff. People were saying, 'I sure hope you do it again.'"

Harlan said the fans seemed particularly enthused about the unique opportunity to view the team's three Lombardi Trophies and walk the route their heroes walk prior to each game as they travel onto the field.

"I heard an awful lot about the trophy room and the locker room," he said. That obviously was a big hit. They love those two rooms and they loved walking down the hallway. That meant a lot to them to walk the hallway and travel the players' path."

"It's a fantastic opportunity that you wouldn't get usually as a fan," said Josh Jarvis, a longtime Packer fan from Hartland, Wisconsin, as he snapped photos in the locker room Sunday. "To be able to come through here and experience something like this is really special."

The locker room was by no means the only highlight of the weekend, though.

"It's been fantastic," Jarvis stated, hoping to attend more fan events like this one in the future. "I got to meet a lot of people, got to meet Brett Favre, LeRoy Butler, Donald Driver, Gilbert Brown - a lot of great players in a short amount of time. It was a lot of fun and I'd be disappointed if they didn't do this again."

Joe and Stephanie Giannunzio of Green Bay brought their two-week-old son, Hutson (named after legendary receiver Don Hutson) along to get a taste of the weekend's activities.

"We had a great time," Joe said. "They did an excellent job setting this up and running it. This tour is the biggest highlight. We live right down the road and I've always wanted to go in the locker room. Just to be able to come in here and see everything, it's really neat."

Jennifer Ark, director of guest relations for the Packers, was equally pleased with Fan Fest.

"The feedback that we got at our guest relations desk in the Atrium was just extremely positive," she said. "People were excited to have a weekend to come and see and get up close with the players and have great access to Lambeau Field."

The success of the weekend points to Fan Fest becoming a regular event on the Lambeau Field calendar, according to the Packers' director of marketing and corporate sales, Craig Benzel.

"I was really pleased with how Fan Fest turned out," Benzel said. "I think it went pretty much by plan. In a first year effort, you learn an awful lot and there's a few things that we'll look at doing differently next year, but overall it went exactly as we had planned.

"The Fan Fest committee is going to be sitting down this week to evaluate if we met all of our goals and the initial reaction is that we did and it would be an event that would be welcomed by the fans to have a second year."

Harlan said that Fan Fest turned out to be everything he had hoped it would be.

"For the first time through, I think our staff did a marvelous job," he said. "I can't tell you how many people I talked to, but I did not get one negative reaction from the fans."

He was pleased not only with the activities, but said that he feels there was just the right amount of tickets, just the right amount of attractions, and that Fan Fest was placed at just the right time of the year.

"I think the number of 3,000 was very good," Harlan concluded. "I think you can have so many people where it just doesn't work. And I thought the hours were right. I don't think we overdid it - I think people had their fill of it and were totally satisfied with the event. I think in the mid-winter like this prior to the Draft Party, I think it comes at a good time."

And that's just what the memories of the first ever Fan Fest at Lambeau Field will surely be of - a good time for everyone.

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