Exclusive sneak peek inside expanded Lambeau Field
GREEN BAY - Lambeau Field. It's a special place rich with history and honor.
For fans, Packers football is like a religion.
Green Bay native Kevin Kelly says, "On Sundays you go to church, you come home, and you watch the Packers. It's just a tradition."
Built in 1957, Lambeau is the NFL's second-oldest stadium.
Packers fan Dave Rapp adds, "It's such a beautiful stadium, but I think a lot of times they have to keep up with the Joneses."
"Keeping up" is one of the reasons the Packers organization decided to undergo a $145 million renovation project on the field, adding 2 new scoreboards and 7,000 seats on the south end.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy sat down and talked exclusively to TODAY'S TMJ4 about the project.
"We will now have a capacity of just about 80,000. We'll be the third largest in the NFL, which is pretty impressive when you consider we're by far the smallest market in the NFL," Murphy explains.
Despite the big league look. Murphy says keeping the old school feel was vital.
"I think we've added modern amenities, additional seats, but I think we've done it in a way we stay true to the history and tradition of Lambeau."
The new seating could also mean more wins for the green and gold when it comes to crowd noise distracting the opponent.
"The way we designed it, we called it a wall of sound. The seats are very vertical, and it's really designed in a way to keep the sound in," Murphy says.
That high wall also boasts a new viewing deck for fans, which is now the highest point in Brown County.
One big change in the new section: no classic bleachers!
The added seating means big revenue for the city of Green Bay. to the tune of more than $12 million.
Murphy explains, "For New York or Chicago that's a drop in bucket. For Green Bay, that's a big impact: great for hotels, and restaurants, and local retail."
So could this also mean a Super Bowl in Lambeau's future?
"Well, hopefully it will help us win a Super Bowl, that's the first priority," Murphy says. He adds, "I would love to host a Super Bowl, but I think realistically the best we can do is try to host the NFC Championship every year."
Even if there's no Super Bowl in Green Bay, fans are just excited for the Packers' legacy to live on for years to come.
Another good thing about the renovation: it got thousands of people off the ticket waiting list.
The renovation project also includes big changes in the Atrium over the next couple years, including an expanded Packers Hall of Fame and Pro Shop, so keep an eye out for that.