"On behalf of all of the young people of Green Bay and Brown County. And on behalf of all past, present and future generations of Packers fans from around the world, we hereby re-dedicate the best football stadium in the world --- Lambeau Field."
With those words, two 13-year-old Lombardi Middle School students from Green Bay, Lacey Van Zeeland and Cory Jansa, rededicated historic Lambeau Field today during halftime of the Green Bay Packers - Minnesota Vikings game.
The pair was selected for the honor because they had been the winners of a spring 2001 essay contest to help with the groundbreaking ceremony for a $295-million Lambeau Field redevelopment project. "We thought it would be appropriate to ask them to join us once again, because this redevelopment effort was all about making the Packers franchise secure for future generations," said Packers President Bob Harlan.
Joining Lacey and Cory for the ceremony were Packers President Bob Harlan, Packers Executive Vice President and COO John Jones, the Packers Executive Committee, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Wisconsin Governor James Doyle, Wisconsin's 8th District Congressman Mark Green, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker John Gard and representatives of the redevelopment team.
Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was also invited to participate but could not attend, due to a family commitment.
Harlan said it was another historic day for the Packers. "Nearly 46 years have passed since the Green Bay Packers played their first game at the "new" City Stadium, a stadium that was later renamed Lambeau Field. We've been able to preserve that intimate, exciting feel of the seating bowl, while at the same time making this a truly first rate facility that will help us remain competitive for the next generation."
Jones added that with the new look and amenities, Lambeau Field's legend will continue to grow. "We now have a year-round facility that enables our fans to visit Lambeau at any time of the year. So even if someone cannot get tickets to a game, they can still come here to be a part of the Packers experience."
The redevelopment effort increased the seating capacity of Lambeau Field to 72,515 and added a five story Atrium, which is home to the new Packers Hall of Fame, the Packers Pro Shop, Curly's Pub and a number of other shops and restaurants. Meeting and banquet facilities are also available for business and social events.