On June 27, Lambeau Field Live (LFL), the free, interactive exhibit with many of the features of Lambeau Field, was in Milwaukee for the opening of Summerfest. Lambeau Field Live is one of the key events of the Packers 100 Seasons celebration. The concept is to literally take Lambeau Field on the road to our great fans across the state. LFL will stay at Summerfest for the festival's entire 11-day run. Later this summer, LFL will make stops at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, Wisconsin State Fair, Oshkosh EAA Air Adventure, and Taste of Madison.
Judging by the reaction of fans at Summerfest, I think LFL will be a big hit this summer. The Patrick Cudahy Virtual Reality Experience was especially popular. Fans feel as though they are on the field with the players. Other hits were the Lambeau Leap wall, the chance to run through the tunnel like our players do and the Hall of Fame exhibit.
We will also have alumni at LFL to mingle with fans and sign autographs. Andre Rison was at the opening of Summerfest, and various alumni will be at Summerfest and the other stops. Finally, we will have Packers' history lessons with Cliff Christl, Aaron Popkey, Brent Hensel from our Hall of Fame, and stadium tour guides Tom Pigeon and Mike McKenna.
Now, on to your questions.
Jim from Phoenix, AZ
I know that all players take vacations in the time period between the minicamp and training camp. What about other employees of the Packers, when do they take their vacations?
It really depends on the person's position with the Packers, Jim. For instance, this time of year is the busiest time of year for our facilities employees (wrapping up projects before the start of training camp) and the Hall of Fame and Tours staff, so employees in these areas are unlikely to take time off now. For them, immediately following the season makes more sense to take time off. You're right, players and coaches will generally take off from mid-June to mid-July. The players may take a short time off from working out, but will continue training to ensure they are in good shape for training camp. Most executives across the league take time off between mid-June and July. The season is a long grind and it is important to be rested. I will spend the first two weeks of July with my family in Door County, and will be back in mid-July to get ready for the shareholders meeting and the start of training camp.
Dallas from Gurnee, IL
I am coming up for the Bears game to open the season. What new things can I expect to see at the stadium?
The biggest change that you'll notice (especially since it's a night game), Dallas, are the new LED stadium lights. I'm very excited to see the impact of these lights. People have said that the players' numbers really pop with the LED lighting. It was certainly interesting to see how they installed the lights. We will also have a new field that hopefully will perform as well as our old field. The first phase of the concourse renovation will be completed by then, and will include new audio in the concourse and three grab-and-go concession stands. There are also other behind-the-scenes projects, such as a renovation of the control room in the press box, renovation of our ticket office and a locker room for females from the visiting team that you likely would not see unless you took a tour. It should be a great opening weekend with all kinds of activities planned to celebrate the start of our 100th season.
Dave from Tarpon Springs, FL
I am a shareholder from Florida and am thinking about coming up for the Shareholders Meeting. I went to the meeting a few years ago and you gave tours of the new South End Zone. Will there be anything special for shareholders this year?
I would definitely encourage you to come up for the Shareholders Meeting this year. First, the meeting will be held in the evening (for the first time since we've held the meeting in the stadium) under our new LED lights. We're hopeful that the evening meeting will allow more local shareholders to attend. Also, the first team practice is the next morning at 11:15 a.m. Most importantly, for the next four days, we will have the free Packers Experience in the Lambeau Field parking lot. It will be similar to the NFL Experience that is held at Super Bowls and Drafts. The Experience is part of our 100 Seasons celebration and features four different areas including live music, a replica team locker room, USA Football kids clinics, a theater showing a 100 Seasons documentary, Packers alumni Q&A sessions, photo stations and prizes.
Steve Woltering from Richmond, KY
Mark, I am an owner who lives in Kentucky. Visiting Lambeau Field has been on my "bucket list" for many years. I finally got to visit the field when my wife and I recently went on a fishing trip to Canada. We dropped by on Father's Day.
For those fans and owners who have never visited the facilities, I can only say that you are missing something very special. We took the tour that showed us many areas of interest, including the visitors' locker room and the press box area. John and John (our two tour guides) were extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. The details that have gone into this entire facility is mind-blowing. The artwork throughout the facility, alone, is worth the price of admission. And, then, of course, there is the 22,000-square foot gift shop where one can find anything and everything that ever had a "G" placed on it. An added bonus was the extra 15% off everything because it was Father's Day.
Someday I hope to make it back up to Green Bay to see a game. Until then, I feel fortunate in having taken the time to visit a very special place. Thank you, and all who are involved, for making Lambeau Field and the Packers so unique and special.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write about your experience at Lambeau Field, Steve. Sounds like you had a great Father's Day. You didn't ask a question, but I wanted to use your email as an opportunity to highlight our tours and the great work that our tour guides do. Training camp is a very busy time for our tours (especially since we no longer have two-a-day practices). If you haven't been on a tour of Lambeau Field in a while, it is definitely worth your time. The guides are very knowledgeable about Lambeau Field as well as the history of the Packers. Also, as Steve noted, the artwork and photos in the premium areas are spectacular.
Dave Tauscher from Buffalo, MN
Hi Mark, I am a proud Packers shareholder since 1997. My question is, why isn't Packers shareholder merchandise available for purchase at the Packers Pro Shop in Lambeau Field? Also have you considered offering unique Packers shareholder jerseys available for purchase, especially with over 350,000 shareholders as potential customers? I would gladly order a #65 Mark Tauscher shareholder jersey in honor of Mark's induction into the Packers Hall of Fame this July.
Go Pack Go!
Good question, Dave. As a benefit to our shareholders, shareholder merchandise is "exclusively" for our shareholders, and currently is not offered to the general public. Also, shareholders have their own link on the Pro Shop website to purchase special items with the shareholder logo, only needing their certificate number and zip code to validate their access. The merchandise is brought in on the day of the annual shareholder meeting as a service and convenience to the shareholders attending. Attending the meeting and having exclusive merchandise are the main two benefits to being a shareholder, in addition to the certificate itself. I really like your idea regarding a shareholder jersey. We will look into a custom jersey option on the shareholder merchandise webpage as well. I know that many people put "Shareholder" or "Owner" on the nameplate of the jersey.
Thanks again for your question. I'm excited for Mark's induction. He's a great success story – having the kind of career he did as a seventh-round draft choice. Are you related?