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Mild winter aids Lambeau construction


Mild winter weather has allowed the Lambeau Field expansion project to remain on schedule, with the north end zone's new video board slated to be installed in a couple of weeks.

"We've been really pleased," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in updating on the progress of the construction. "It's going along very well."

The structural steel for the new video board in the north end zone is mostly in place, as is the brick façade and exterior work for the new north entrance and elevator tower.

The actual video board will be larger than the structural framework that is currently visible atop the stadium, Murphy said. Once installed, the board will extend eight feet wider than the framework on each side, making it four times larger than the scoreboard that the stadium has used for the last nine seasons (2003-11).

"The first thing that's going to hit the fans is the size of it," Murphy said, noting that fans should get their first look at the new video boards at the shareholders' meeting this summer. "Once people see the scoreboards in operation, I think they're going to be very impressed with the clarity and definition. The quality of the replays is going to be so much better than we've had.

"I think it's really going to provide a dramatic improvement in the gameday experience for our fans."

That's the whole idea behind the project, which also includes a viewing platform underneath the scoreboard in the north end zone, an amenity Murphy envisions being very popular both on gamedays – to view the pre-game fly-overs and the game action – and throughout the year for special events.

Everything in the north end zone, including the video board, viewing platform and entrance/elevator tower is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2012 season.

In the south end zone, the construction schedule includes getting its new video board up and running this year, as well. That board will be much higher than the one in the north end zone, as it will be located above the additional 6,700 outdoor seats that represent the final phase of the expansion project.

For 2012, the south video board will be in its permanent spot with much of the framework for the new seating visible underneath it. The new seats will be finished and available for the 2013 season.

"What we didn't want to do is put the scoreboard up this year, take it down and put it back up again next year," Murphy said regarding the construction plans. "It made sense to put it up in its permanent location and work in everything around it.

"I think we've done it in a way that it will look like the expansion is part of Lambeau Field when it's all finished."

Nearly half of the $143 million project is being paid for by the team's recently completed stock sale, which raised more than $67 million.

"We can't thank our fans enough," Murphy said. "Their response to the stock sale was tremendous, and it really helps us in terms of funding this project."

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