Expect more police at Lambeau Sunday after mask, alcohol issues last week
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Fans who were able to get their hands on tickets to Sunday’s NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field will see some changes with security and enforcement.
The reason? Masks. Green Bay Police say they’re adding more officers, in part because many people were not wearing their masks as required on Packers property last weekend.
“We’re going to increase our staff from the previous game, because this is an NFC Championship game. We’re looking at making sure everybody follows the rules as far as when it comes to COVID.”
This season, finding your way to a seat inside Lambeau Field means you’re probably pretty lucky.
With only about one-tenth the number of fans who normally fill the stadium actually being allowed in Sunday, police are asking fans to remember that.
“It’s a privilege to be there. Act like it’s a privilege,” says Green Bay Police Commander Paul Ebel. “You’re really lucky to get a ticket.”
The gentle reminder comes after problems they say they had with fan behavior at Saturday’s NFC Divisional playoff game.
“We received several complaints, text message complaints of people not wearing masks,” says Ebel.
Masks are required to be worn at all times on Packers property unless you’re eating or drinking, but police say not everyone was complying.
“It was an issue,” says Ebel. “There are a number of fans that didn’t wear their mask or refused to wear their mask. When an usher comes up to you and says, ‘Can you please put your mask back on?’ they have the same authority as what we do. If they want you to leave the game because you’re not compliant, we will escort you out of the game.”
Police say they did eject people for not wearing masks last weekend.
Others, they said, did put them back on when asked.
Police also saw more drunken people than they expected for such a limited crowd.
“It almost felt like a regular season game... night game... when we’re dealing with another rival team like the Vikings or the Bears, so some of the fans we dealt with had over-consumed,” says Ebel.
The alcohol, coupled with mask issues, and because it’s the NFC Championship, have prompted police to significantly increase their staffing.
“You’re going to see a lot more law enforcement at this game as opposed to last week,” adds Ebel.
The same COVID rules still apply: no carry-ins and no tailgating in Lambeau’s parking lot.
Police say some people tried that last weekend, so they’ll have officers reminding fans of all these new COVID rules.
“All we’re looking for is voluntary compliance,” says Ebel. “We’re going to try education. We’re going to try warnings, compliance, and if that fails, we’ll ask you leave the game.”
Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.