For the past seven years, fans attending Packers training camp have been able to visit Brown County Arena or ShopKo Hall for the club's interactive area known as The Packers Experience.
The 2004 incarnation of The Packers Experience will allow Packer fans of all ages to hone their football skills in the same building where their heroes play. The event is being held in the concourse area at Lambeau Field, adjacent to the Lambeau Field Atrium. Another feature of the 2004 Experience is that all the activities are FREE to the public for the first time and will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, now through Tuesday, Aug. 31.
Modeled on The NFL Experience, which is a prominent attraction at the Super Bowl each year, The Packers Experience allows young Packers to work on nearly every aspect of their game. Kids can visit the Training Room, where they can have their wrist wrapped and then head off to work on any number of football skills, from the Passing Challenge or the Field Goal Kick to the Down & Out Route receiving drill or work on their punting at Hang Time.
A group of 48 kids from Children's World in Green Bay were among the participants Thursday morning, and almost unanimously selected the Obstacle Course as their favorite event. Sandra said she chose that as her favorite, "because it's bouncy and was fun to go through the tubes and over the wall." Destiny, another young Packers fan said, "It's really cool to get to play inside the stadium."
There are other events that are definitely unique to The Packers Experience, however. Some kids chose the Cheese Maze -- where participants enter an enormous piece of cheese in search of footballs -- as their favorite attraction, and everyone seems to enjoy practicing their Lambeau Leap for their future playing days.
Craig Benzel, Packers' director of marketing and corporate sales, sees The Packers Experience as a great chance for the young football fan to make the most of a visit to training camp.
"It's an event that's football-driven family entertainment and it's a great place to live Packer football," he said.
On top of the football-based attractions that will run each day, there will be special activities on the main stage during the first two weeks of training camp. Between the morning and afternoon weekday practices on August 2-6 and again from 9-13, local dance teams will perform and there will be Gatorade fitness clinics. G-TV, the 30-minute weekly program geared toward young Packers fans, will also be holding a talent search for a new co-host.
All children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult or guardian to enter The Packers Experience area. This area will not be open on August 7-8, 16-17, and 21-22 to accommodate Family Night and both preseason home games.