Busy weekend in Green Bay for Packers home opener
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - If your plans involve the stadium district this weekend, plan to have some company. It’s a big weekend in Green Bay as the community celebrates the return of Packers football.
The Packers are hosting kickoff weekend ahead of Sunday’s Packers-Bears home opener at Lambeau Field.
The fun starts Saturday with a free concert from GRAMMY award-winning band Train. The concert starts at 5 P.M. at a stage on the northwest side parking lot of Lambeau Field.
The Packers expect between 15,000 and 20,000 people for the free concert. Parking is first-come, first-served in the Lambeau lots and surrounding area. Guests can bring blankets and chairs.
“It is on the west side this year. That’s different than it has been in the past. The west side of the stadium towards Titletown the stage will be in the parking lot facing Titletown. Ridge Road will close an hour before the concert starts,” says Kandi Goltz, manager of game presentation and live events.
The Packers aren’t the only big show in town this weekend. Country singer Luke Combs brings his Middle of Somewhere Tour to the Resch Center on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17, adding to the congestion. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. each day.
All of this is expected to make parking tight. With Chicago being so close, plenty of Bears fans are expected to make the drive. The Packers remind guests that construction continues on the east side of the stadium, and there’s construction elsewhere in the stadium district where lots used to be available for parking.
Signs will direct drivers to the appropriate lanes and parking lots. People with parking passes should put them on mirrors.
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On his first trip to Green Bay, Russell Neff never expected to see so many people near Lambeau Field two days ahead of the Packers home opener. Being from Utah, the journey here and seeing Sunday’s game is a lifelong dream.
“I’m at Lambeau Field, I’m going to be able to watch the Packers-Bears game, which I’ve always had a desire to see, and I just love them, I love the Packers,” Neff said.
Sunday’s Packers-Bears game kickoff is 7:20 P.M. Lambeau Field parking lots will open at 3:20 P.M., with gates opening at 5:20 P.M.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The Lambeau Field Atrium will be open with access to the Packers Pro Shop, Stadium Tours, 1919 Kitchen & Tap, and the Packers Hall of Fame.
Prior to Sunday’s kickoff, there will be a flyover featuring F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing. It’s the final flyover for F-16 aircraft as the Fighter Wing transitions to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II aircraft in the spring.
Dozens of former Packers players will be at Lambeau Field for Alumni Weekend. Click here for the full list.
Fans will also find new foods at the concession stands with an emphasis on the spicy and the cheesy (see our report on the new dishes here).
“They’ve really done a terrific job. Lambeau Field I think was just rated as the number-one stadium in the country for people who want to visit, you know, even above Fenway Park and Wrigley Field and some of those places, so people almost make a pilgrimage to come here just to see it and go to the Pro Shop,” fan Bill LeMire said.
“It’s lovely. It’s beautiful. It’s what I’d dreamed it would be,” Neff said. “If you don’t mind me saying this, a spiritual experience for me and my family. Like I said, my dad, when I was eight years old my dad and I would throw a football around and I would pretend I was in Lambeau Field throwing touchdowns to my dad.”
Lambeau Field is cashless. If you don’t have a debit/credit card, you can place cash on a debit card at kiosks in the Atrium.
Lambeau Field Safety Policy:
No bags or purses will be allowed inside Lambeau Field unless they are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and are no larger than 12″ by 6″ by 12″.
Neff says this is all part of the atmosphere of going to a Packers game.
“All we can ask is for a win on Sunday,” Neff said. “Let’s do it Packers. Come on Rodgers. Let’s get it down, do it.”
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