When Green Bay Packer fans enter Lambeau Field in five weeks to kick off the 2013 preseason in Game 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, they’ll see a makeover for their beloved stadium. And they’re probably going to like it.
The $146 million facelift ($100 million spent so far) and expansion is expected to be completed for a preview during the upcoming July 18 open house for the team’s shareholders and new season ticketholders. As of last week, the project had been deemed “98 percent” completed.
Called by the Packers as “meet your seat,” this event will give a first public look at Lambeau’s new up-to-date bells and whistles such as video boards, a sound system, fan suites, viewing platforms, 30 additional concession stands and perhaps most importantly, the new 7,000 seats.
Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey said last week of the project’s timeline via the Star Tribune, “It’s definitely in the homestretch. Things have come into their focus here, very very nicely and from the drawing board to seeing it come together is very, very exciting for the organization.”
Let’s be honest, what has a key appeal from the additional seats is the fact that they will provide Packer fans a new opportunity for season tickets. A wait list with almost 105,000 people had been waiting for a chance for the coveted tickets prior to the Packers selling the additional seats. Over 5,000 people had been offered tickets with approximately 3,800 accepting, said Popkey.
As for the 1,500 remaining tickets, existing ticket holders traded up and will move to the stadium’s new south end zone, which is considered general seating.
This new end zone has a lot to offer including a viewing deck under the scoreboard as well as new lounges, suites and designated areas for sponsors.
Fans will see things in Lambeau that haven’t previously existed (can you say change is good?) and those who have waited for years and years will get the first crack at enjoying it.
Popkey added, “The folks coming off the list have been on for 30 years, so there’s some patience on their part. That’s the great thing with the support the Packers have.”
The new renovation will not only look good and offer some additional fun, it is also expected to be a good thing on game day as it will create even more noise in Lambeau.
Stuart Zadra,vice president of the project’s contractor Hammes Company, said via NBC Sports.com, “I think it’ll be pretty dramatic in that top area. It’s got metal behind it that’s just going to reflect, and I’m sure people are going to be pounding on that metal cheering on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.”
Not that Green Bay fans ever have a problem making noise but 7,000 additional ones could definitely have an effect.