GREEN BAY – Curly Lambeau was a man of vision, but he couldn't possibly have seen this coming.
The football team Lambeau founded, which played its first season on a roped off field that had no seats, will begin the 2017 season in a stadium bordered by one of the most aggressive real estate developments in all of professional sports. Thursday, at Lambeau Field, the Packers announced plans for "Titletown District."
"We see Titletown as a long-term, authentic neighborhood to attract and retain people for this community," Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said at a news conference that unveiled plans for the land west of Lambeau Field. "The community has kept this franchise going. With the support we've received, Lambeau Field has become a destination."
Titletown District will include a 10-acre public plaza that will be the heart of the development, which will feature a luxury hotel, a sports medicine clinic and a restaurant/brewery. Kohler Co., Bellin Health and Hinterland Restaurant and Brewery will partner with the Packers on the project.
The Green Bay Packers announced details for the master plan for the Titletown District, a destination area to be created on approximately 34 acres of land immediately west of Lambeau Field.
Lodge Kohler will be a Four-Diamond hotel within "Titletown." Kohler Co. also operates The American Club and Inn on Woodlake in Kohler, and The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of arguably the world's most famous golf course and the birthplace of golf.
Bellin will operate a health facility where Packers players will be treated. The facility will welcome all patients.
Hinterland will maintain a restaurant/brewery that'll be nearly four times the size of the one at its current location in downtown Green Bay.
"They're all Wisconsin organizations with local roots and are perfect for this next development," Murphy said.
Packers Vice President and Legal Counsel Ed Policy said the Packers have invested $65 million into the land acquisition and infrastructure costs of the project, and estimates the combined investment by the Packers and their three partners (Kohler, Bellin and Hinterland) will be $120-$130 million.
"That's just the beginning. The investment will continue to grow. We want to enhance the community and make sure the Packers stay in strong financial position," Policy said.
Policy added "Titletown District" is expected to be completed "just prior to the 2017 football season."
The Packers offered artist's renderings of "Titletown" in its four seasons. Winter "Titletown" will include an ice skating rink in the public plaza.
"Through a lot of twists and turns in seven years, we're really excited," Murphy said.