Packers tease the possibility of a major event at Lambeau Field this year

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers are working on a major event to be held at Lambeau Field this year.

Following the disappointing news that Detroit will host the 2024 NFL Draft – Green Bay was one of three contenders – the Packers told the Green Bay/Brown Football Stadium District Board of Directors on Monday County that a major event at Lambeau Field is a good possibility.

“We’re very confident that we’ll be able to do that,” public affairs director Aaron Popkey said of the event.

Popkey did not reveal what the event would be or when. Major events past at Lambeau Field have included concerts by Billy Joel and Paul McCartney, and a University of Wisconsin-LSU football game.

The Packers said they would like to host a major event at Lambeau Field each year, but were unable to do so in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.

The Packers disclosed as much as they did about the event to the stadium’s board of directors, as they would like all ticket tax money from this event to be used to secure the NFL Draft in 2025 or later. The stadium district may apply a tax of up to 10% on tickets for events in Lambeau.

The Wisconsin Badgers-LSU Tigers college football game on September 3, 2017 was one of three major events held at Lambeau Field in addition to Green Bay Packers football games.  The others were concerts by Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.  The Packers said Monday they were working on another major event for this year.

“The team would like to see a commitment from as many community organizations as possible to show the NFL they have support,” said Patrick Webb, stadium district executive director. “I don’t think there’s anything else we can fund that would have the impact of the draft being here.”

It is unclear how much money the ticket tax would bring in. The amount would depend on ticket prices and the number of tickets sold, and would not be fully known until after the event.

The Packers and local organizers will continue to talk to the NFL about bringing the draft to Green Bay.

“The Packers will run this with a significant amount of money,” Popkey said. “We don’t imagine (the draft) making up for what we put into it.”

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In other cities where the draft took place, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Nashville and Cleveland, NFL teams were not heavily involved. The project was awarded to the organizing entities of these cities. It will be different for Green Bay, the NFL’s smallest market, as the Packers’ involvement would be needed, in terms of money and manpower.

“We are proud of the offer that Discover Green Bay and the Green Bay Packers have provided to the NFL and we are excited to continue working with them to bring this spectacular event to the Green Bay area in the future. We let’s remain optimistic about this opportunity,” said Nick Meisner, vice president of marketing and communications for Discover Green Bay, the local tourism board.

Popkey said the project would not be profitable for the Packers, even though it is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $90 million on Wisconsin, mostly in the community of Green Bay. That would be an economic impact equivalent to six Packers home games.

Stadium board members approved a motion backing efforts to secure the project, but deferred a decision on the financial commitment until their June meeting, when they hope to have more information on the event major this year.

Contact Richard Ryman at (920) 431-8342 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @RichRymanPG, on Instagram at @rrymanPG or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardRymanPG/.

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