Another Packers training camp is now officially in the books, and judging from the massive crowds at the large number of activities throughout the month-long camp, the 2004 edition of Packers training camp could only be described as a full success.
"I'd like to say thank you to all of the Packer fans, who made this one of the most exciting training camps in recent memory," Packers' Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer John Jones said.
"I think camp was such a success because of their enthusiasm and excitement, and because it was the first year that Lambeau Field and Lambeau Field Atrium could be fully available to them," Jones continued.
"We saw a lot of families, and a lot of fans of all ages coming and enjoying practices and soaking in the Packers atmosphere, and really bringing the experience to training camp that Bob Harlan and myself and everyone in the organization hoped that first camp in the new stadium would have.
"Based on what we've seen, that's exactly what we were able to do for the fans, and we're delighted that we could offer that to them."
The Packers, who have a long-standing tradition of holding their training camp at their home facility, were proud to host a number of events throughout the month of August to draw Packer fans from all over the country to Wisconsin on their summer vacations.
Jones mentioned a few of the events in naming his highlights of the summer.
"It really started on the first day of camp. The Saturday of our first two-a-day rookie practices, we had 'Summer Traditions at Lambeau Field'. That was an old-time experience based on Curly Lambeau's boyhood in 1908. You also had the rookies practicing across the street and a festival in the parking lot, and I thought that got us off to a great start.
"We went on to have Family Night with over 60,000 fans in attendance, and so many of them children and families that came out that night, which was very exciting.
"Day in and day out, seeing all the people in the Atrium enjoying themselves was great. I enjoyed looking out and seeing people just sitting at the tables in the Atrium soaking up the atmosphere between practices, or eating at Curly's or Hall of Fame Grill, or even shopping at the Pro Shop.
"I just hope that everybody remembers 'The Packer Experience' and so many kids with the eye-black running around like they're Brett Favre, or Ahman Green, or Kabeer or Nick Barnett or some great Packer player, and that's fun just to see them enjoying the experience and kind of really becoming Packer fans at an age when they will remember their trip to Lambeau Field. Those are the things that will stick out in my mind that Training Camp '04 will be remembered for."
Even though 2004's camp has just concluded, Jones and the rest of the organization are already looking for another bright summer in 2005.
"We're already planning for next year's Family Night," he said. "We've had a lot of requests already about when tickets will be available because of this year's success.
"The marketing department will come up with some new, fun ideas that will make the '05 Training Camp even bigger and better than it was this year. They did a great job in getting started in the new building, and it was really a combination of all the departments in the organization making sure we gave our fans the best. That's our goal every year, and we think we took a big step forward in Training Camp '04, and we want to take another big step forward in Training Camp '05."