John Jones Live Chat Transcript: 1-7-05

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G'day to you, too, Ned . . . I want to thank you and all of our Packers fans in Australia for your interest and support. Australian football is popular with a number of us in the Packers organization. We've even had the honor of entertaining representatives from the Australial Football League at Lambeau Field. While the idea of the Packers playing in Australia is intriguing, it's a decision that rests with the National Football League. The NFL determines which teams play international games and in which countries. That means it isn't likely we will be playing Down Under in the near future. However, please consider visiting us someday in Green Bay to see Packers football at the source. Until then, thanks for backing the Packers.

Michael -- Mike Sherman and the player personnel staff make football decisions. Andrew Brandt, Vice President of Player Finance/General Counsel, gives input on Salary Cap implications, which are an intrinsic part of ever team's personnel plan. Andrew and I discuss potential Cap issues and approaches we can take to enable the Packers to have the most competitive team possible while making good decisions about the Salary Cap.

Dee -- All of us miss Reggie very deeply. This afternoon we hung a huge portait of Reggie in Lambeau Field Atrium as a memorial to him on this home playoff weekend. Our players will be wearing his "92" decal on their helmets on Sunday, and we will also have special rememberances of him in pre-game. Simply said, Reggie will live forever in our hearts. I think Reggie would be glad you wore his jersey and remembered him.

Heywood -- Final details are being completed for more surprises planned for Fan Fest. We should have everything nailed down and announced well before tickets go on sale Feb. 9th. Please check Packers.com for more info, as well as stories that may appear in the news media. I hope you will be very pleased with everything we have planned.

Bill -- My thanks to you and all our Packers fans in the Seattle area. Out of respect for the Seattle Seahawks, and according to NFL rules, NFL teams do not do promotions in other teams' home market areas. Here in Green Bay and Wisconsin it is Packers country. But, there also are fans of the Vikings, Bears and Lions, just as there are Packers fans in those division rivals' home cities. Each club in the NFC North respects the "home turf" of its rivals. However, the Packers will be playing at Seattle in the 2006 season, so start making plans to cheer us on at the game. Until then, thanks for being a Packers fan and visiting us on Packers.com.

Johnny -- The Packers played a pre-season game at Camp Randall for several years until the NFL scheduling rules changed. Under the new League rules, home and away games are scheduled by the League. In the "old days," our game at Camp Randall counted as an away preseason game, even though it was only a couple of hours from Lambeau Field. Under the new rules, a Camp Randall game would have to count as a home game, which is not a possibility given our commitment to ticket holders at Lambeau Field. Still, I'm a Badger football fan and hope someday it can come to be. Just not sure how.

Ed -- Internet broadcast of Packers game is not planned. However, NFL Sunday Ticket would give you access to all Packers games, as well as every other team. If next year's TV schedule is as favorable to the Packers as this year's schedule was, there will be many opportunities to see us on national broadcast and cable TV games.

Kimberly -- There are so many great Brett stories, it's hard to pick just one. I know I will never forget the winning locker room on Christmas eve in Minnesota and the emotion of Brett and the team on winning the NFC North. That was special.

Rhett -- Lambeau Field Atrium helps make the Packers acessible to fans from all over Wisconsin, the USA and the world. You know how difficult it is to get game tickets because the Pacekrs have been sold out on a season ticket basis since the Vince Lombardi era. Lambeau Field Atrium gives everyone who can't get a game ticket the opportunity to immerse themselves in Packers culture, see Lambeau Field and meet the nice people who work in our organization. The revenue generated from bringing the Packers to more fans helps ensure that our historic team will not fall victim to economic forces shaping the future of the League.

Jon -- It is not about PR, I assure you. The people of the organization truly enjoy getting involved in community events. Maybe the news media is picking up on it more, I don't know. We also have more community events because of Lambeau Field Atrium, so that may contribute as well to greater awareness.

Rocky -- I worked in labor relations and negotiations at the NFL Management Council before coming to the Packers in March 1999. The Management Council was responsible for all collective bargaining negotiations with the players union, as well as creating the Salary Cap and the new economic systems at work in the League today. These experiences were invaluable in preparing me to bring an in-depth understanding of NFL operations to the Packers. I was equally fortunate to have been a original member of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars' front office, which gave me exposure to my first stadium project in the League -- the old Gator Bowl, known as Alltel today. Before that, I was a sportswriter and teacher.

Clint -- This year our fan club, Packers Partners Club of Champions, initiated a Legends level mebership which affords members access to Packers StubHub for the purchase of tickets at face value (plus a processing fee). Tickets are offered by our season ticketholders to fan club members so that the Packers retain a Green abd Gold home field advantage. Over 1,100 tickets were purchased by fan club Legends members this season. For more details, just click on the Packers Partners icon on Packers.com By the way, the Packers offer this as a fan service and do not make any money on the program. Any proceeds that otherwise come to the Packers are donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay.

Pauly -- The usual Packers contingent for NFL owners meetings is Bob Harlan and myself, accompanied usually by Andrew Brandt, VP Player Finance/General Counsel, and Jason Wied, Corporate Counsel.

Rose -- I attended Super Bowl XXXI, which was played at the Superdome in my hometown of New Orleans, and that is hard to beat. Nonetheless, New Year's Eve 1967 when Bart crossed the goal line to win the Ice Bowl is still one of the greatest Packers moments for me. I'd also have to mention Brett's incredible performance against the Oakland Raiders on Monday night football last year. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention all the great games Ray Nitschke played. Thirty years ago this season I worked for Ray as the first editor of Ray Nitschke's Packers Report. That was very special, too.

Buzz -- Planning for the Draft Day Party 2005 is underway. Player guests will be announced in late March.

Joe -- It is the single greatest honor any working person in the NFL could ever have. The organization is a family of talented, caring people in every department. I am very grateful that I have the chance to make a leadership contribution.

Jay -- The Green Bay-Brown County Football Stadium District has already reduced the pay-off date of the stadium bonds by a couple of years. The district has done an outstanding job of managing the stadium bond debt and using higher than projected sales tax collections to reduce debt quicker. Higher tax collections are generated by more sales in Brown County. Lambeau Field has helped create additional tourism dollars, along with the Resch Center arena, expanded mall and new restaurants and other shopping and services.

Phil -- I was a long-distance Packers fan via TV when I was a kid growing up in New Orleans. I never dreamed I'd someday get to work at Lambeau Field. The latter stages of the Lombardi era occured during my halcyon career as a high school football player. I idolized everything about the Packers, Coach Lombardi and the mystique of Green Bay. I guess you could say members of the 1967 Packers team are all my favorite players. That was the same year the Saints debuted in New Orleans, but it was too late for me. My heart already belonged to the Frozen Tundra.

I'll have to make this the last question before heading off . . . Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. Sorry I couldn't get to more. It's been a pleasure to visit with everyone online. Rufus -- The next big thing for the Packers will be to continue the history and tradition that we have been so fortunate to call our own since 1919. Regardless of what twists and turns the NFL may take, our job is to be looking ahead and making sure the Packers will be in position to compete for a Super Bowl. We will continue to honor our community and fans, without whom this franchise would not exist. And, we will keep having fun and sharing fun with our guests at Lambeau Field. Having said that, there also are some surprises in store. But more on that the next time I chat with you . . . Happy New Year, everyone . . . Go Packers . . . JJ

This concludes our chat. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions -- there were hundreds of you. Sorry we couldn't get to everyone. Thanks to Mr. Jones for being a great chat guest. - Posted by Chat Moderator of Packers.com

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