Packers try to make visiting Lambeau better than watching on TV

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If you have an HD TV, the Sunday Ticket package and a comfortable couch, a Sunday afternoon at home can be a better experience than a Sunday afternoon at the stadium. NFL teams understand that, and are trying to improve their stadiums to keep up with home.

The Packers are one such team: They’ve got a long season-ticket waiting list, so they don’t have to worry about filling Lambeau Field right now. But they want to make sure that the experience of being there is as good as the experience at home, so they’re adding bigger scoreboards, better concessions, places to watch the game while standing and other amenities with an eye toward competing with the experience of watching the Packers from home.

“Our business is very competitive,” Packers President Mark Murphy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “We’re competing with ourselves, in a sense, because TV is so good and we want to make sure the experience in the stadium is unique. It really focuses on technology.”

Improving the technology at stadiums is something NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has mentioned: He wants fans to have high-speed internet access on their smart phones and tablets while sitting in the stands, and he has talked about making TVs available with the Red Zone Channel, so that fans who are at the stadium enjoying one game can also keep tabs on all of the other games.

There are some fans who think nothing compares to the experience of tailgating, being out in the elements and enjoying the game with tens of thousands of your fellow fans. There are other fans who think nothing compares to the ability to enjoy the comforts of home and change channels during commercials. And then there are fans in the middle, who can see the pros and cons of both ways to experience the game. The Packers are trying to make sure that for those fans, the pros of Lambeau Field outweigh the cons.

39 responses to “Packers try to make visiting Lambeau better than watching on TV

  1. As someone who prefers watching on TV, but likes to go to one or two games a year, I would prefer that the in-stadium experience was less like the TV experience. Newer and more modern sports venues just aren’t nearly as much fun.

  2. And then you have the fans (Saints/Seattle) who consider themselves part of the team whose job it is to wreak noisy havoc on visiting team.

  3. Boing like tailgating at a game. How about free WIFI for tailgaters before and after the game so we can watch pre and post game shows after the games, and more games live instead of wait two hours to try to get out of a stadium in traffic. Less traffic, better stadium experience.

  4. proud season-ticket holder for the Hawks,

    I love the stadium experience, Lynch’s run against the Saints was epic in person!

    to see that on TV would have been a shame, the place was rockin’…

  5. Lambeau will always be an experience in and by itself, but the encroaching technological advances and the younger generations that are coming up behind us will demand this kind of accommodation. Nothing will replace the game-day experience at Lambeau, especially the pre-game tailgating environment. But if I could leave my seat to get something to eat or use the restroom without hurrying and running back so as not to miss anything, and could watch the action comfortably before rejoining my friends, that would be great. Frosting on the cake isn’t a bad thing.

  6. This idea that fans won’t attend games unless they can be looking up stuff on the internet is foolish. The last thing teams should be encouraging attendees to do is disengage from watching the game in front of them.

    TV is always going to give an more all-encompassing view of a game. If you want to improve the game-day experience for fans, lower the prices.

  7. Not a problem for the Packers regardless. For other teams the real things that keeps people away are price, time commitment, parking, restrooms, concessions, etc. I make it to a game once every 2-3 years when my team comes to town. That’s enough for me.

  8. I applaud a team like the Packers who don’t really have to do squat to please their fans. They’ll show up no matter how the weather is or how the stadium looks etc…

    The fact that they are investing millons of dollars into fan conveniences really says a lot.

  9. My first (and last) visit to Lambeau was at a Packer/Bear game (not a fan of either team – went there as a guest) was disgusting.

    When you witness three grown men urinating on the Bears players as they enter the tunnel at halftime, I for one would rather watch a Packer game at home.

    No desire to go to Lambeau and be subjected to that kind of behavior when my team plays in Lambeau.

  10. The stadium experience has simply gotten too expensive for the average fan. When you pay 20-25 to simply park in a stadium lot for 3-4 hours on top of the ridiculous cost of food and drink, it makes staying home and watching it with friends on HD tvs much more appealing. I won’t even get into the cost of game tickets or PSLs….

  11. I don’t want the at home experience when I go to a game, I want football.

    How about the NFL reducing the TV timeouts so the games don’t go as long. How about not having stadiums assault us with blaring commercials and too loud music?

    How about not screwing the fans with food and drink prices? We already are paying through the teeth for parking, PSL’s and Preseason games. How much is enough?

    But cue the NFL quotes with their “All about the fans” mantra… /eyeroll

  12. I’ve been to Lambeau…fixing the seats would be a HUGE start. They actually rent out cushions for people to sit on because they’re so bad.

  13. Doesn’t anyone get it? The owners don’t want you to tailgate! They want you in the stadium or in their bars and restaurants around the stadium spending money on overpriced food and beer!
    In Pittsburgh all the parking lots are disappearing. The only people who can tailgate next to the stadium anymore are the 1% with luxury boxes.
    Football has peaked for the average Joe.

  14. Honestly you have to see these new scoreboards at lambeau. I saw them a few weeks ago. They look simply amazing. The whole new look is amazing.

  15. I’m just spitballin’ here, but maybe ticket prices have something to do with it?

  16. The two are completely different views. At home, Its quiet, warm/cold, food is in abundance and you never have to wait to go to the bathroom. Nothing beats going to a game though, the crowd noise, the feeling of the memories rushing through you, the tailgating, being the 12th man, because nothing beats showing your team some love.

  17. How bout they lower the ticket price from completely ridiculous to slightly unreasonable. If I want to take my son and wife to a bears game I gotta fork out $240 for three tickets not to mention everything else, up in the nose bleeds. Sorry buying milk is more important.

  18. ShimSham says:
    Jun 29, 2012 9:37 AM
    Saints fans consider themselves part of the team? Why didn’t they show up until 2006?


    Just because the Saints didn’t get any national attention before 2006, doesn’t mean the fans haven’t always been loyal and passionate. It took a little winning for the national media to shine more light on our incredibly loyal fanbase, but the fans have always been there.

  19. RE: mattsffrd – They still use bleacher seating for a few reasons. 1. It’s really easy to clean snow off of. There’s a lot of that. 2. Fit more people in the stands that way. There’s a huge waiting list for tickets, so more seats helps. 3. They try to make the stadium modern and historical at the same time. Bleacher seating is part of the historical side of it.

  20. It now costs $200 for a season of NFL Ticket on Direct TV. That’s about what it costs for 2 people to attend a game including concessions and parking.

    This will not be a problem that goes away for the NFL as long as ticket prices stay where they are and the TV experience continues to improve.

    No drastic changes on their part means no drastic changes on the fans part. It’s simple.

  21. Each stadium and fan base is its own unique experience, but if you were to take someone to two NFL games next season who had never been to a game, it would have to be at Green Bay and at Jerry World. Its the history and future of the league.

  22. A couple of people have mentioned this and I agree with them: you need to make the live, gameday experience DIFFERENT than watching at home. Certainly the diehards will come out and enjoy the new ammenities no matter what and the diehard couch potatoes (I don’t mean that in a bad way, just can’t think of another phrase for it) will still insist that nothing beats watching at home, but if you make it more like home, you’ll lose the inbetween crowd. Making it easier for fans to check other scores or keep up with their fantasy teams or not miss a play while they grab a bite to eat or hit the restroom is all well and good, but if that’s all you do people will think “I can do all this from home. Why did I drop $X on tickets?” And don’t say the answer is cheaper tickets cause Sunday Ticket can be just as expensive as going to a game. Cheaper tickets simply means more corporations and people with the extra expendable cash will buy up more tickets, they won’t actually make it to the average guy. Teams need to emphasize the atmosphere of being at the game cause that’s the biggest thing that TV doesn’t give you.

  23. Let’s see… for 25 bucks at home I can get an order of wings, a 18pack of beer and a couple bags of chips… for 20 bucks at the stadium.. I get a “A” beer and a 4 oz bag of nuts… throw in a hundrred per ticket or so … and any CEO of any company (NFL) can understand why I want to stay on my couch with my HDTV. When I bartended.. at a local Legion.. we sold beer for 1.25 a 12oz bottle and that was 100% mark up. So do the math on 10 dollar beers… bring DOWN prices bring in more people.

  24. bearsfankarnik87 says:
    Jun 29, 2012 10:23 AM
    “A couple of people have mentioned this and I agree with them: you need to make the live, gameday experience DIFFERENT than watching at home.”

    The live gameday experience already IS vastly different than watching it at home. Lower the prices for tickets, parking, and concessions.

    monkeyhateclean says:
    Jun 29, 2012 9:45 AM
    “This idea that fans won’t attend games unless they can be looking up stuff on the internet is foolish. The last thing teams should be encouraging attendees to do is disengage from watching the game in front of them.”

    Amen! The people that want to surf the internet are still going to want to surf the internet AT HOME because it’s CHEAPER. Why would I spent more money to go somewhere to surf the internet?

  25. If you just want to “watch” the game, nothing beats TV. If you want to “experience” the game, nothing beats being there in person.

    And as far as Lambeau goes – I’ve been to 20+ stadiums for NFL games, and some may have nicer seats or nicer replay boards, but none of them can compare to the overall experience you get from attending a Packer game at Lambeau Field.

  26. Forget going to the games in person…way to expensive for tickets’; way too much of a hassle (and expense) with parking, food, beer etc.

    Give me a 50+ inch HDTV, a comfy sofa, a no-line bathroom, some kind, and a no-line ‘fridge stocked with whatever beer anf food I desire.

    Now that the all-22 angle will be available on TV, why in the world would anyone desire to leave the house to watch a game?!?

  27. Watching the game live at the stadium should be the ultimate football spectator experience. But it isn’t. Not because of video screens. It is that food and beverages cost much too much. Drunks cursing and fighting in the stands and lack of security make it unsafe and impossible for families to attend a game. In places like Green Bay, it is extremely cold. The cost of tickets and parking are rapidly becoming the exclusive domain of the 1%. Infrastructure around the stadiums and highway access make it a two hour wait just to get out of the parking lot. It is one big pain in the a**. I don’t know what teams can do to make it better than spending Sunday on teh couch, watching the game on a 60 inch screen, drinking a cold one and eating a hoagie in a nice warm house.

  28. The NFL is so popular, in part, because both experiences are great. However, NOTHING compares to the experience of an exciting NFL game seen in person. I have the NFL Ticket, a great HD TV, and a really comfortable couch. I’ll still take a game in person any day. True students of the game appreciate the in person aspect as well. Seeing the whole field and plays develop (or not) is huge. Sorry, you only get that after the fact on your TV by watching the coaches tape on NFL Rewind. Yeah, it gets expensive, but the excitement can’t be duplicated.

  29. I really dont care what anyone says for me there is NOTHING better than being at the stadium. You just cant get that atmosphere on your couch.

  30. It amazes me some would rather sit on the couch than go to a game. I moved from my favorite team’s city and I’ll still miss their games several times a year to go see the team here. I love going to nhl, nba, and mlb games too, but the NFL game experience blows them away. I do wish teams would do more for tailgaters like building more cell towers. I don’t know the logistics, but it really sucks when you can’t get a good enough internet connection to your laptop to watch the east coast games.

  31. “to see that on TV would have been a shame, the place was rockin’…”

    It was pretty awesome on TV too, bud.

  32. Lambeau is ALWAYS better than home in my option. There isn’t a bad seat and the stadium was built for ONE purpose: football. Not rock concerts, not conventions to sell welders or cooking supplies not for basketball or soccer — just football. It is THE shrine of the sport.

  33. I’d rather go to a Viking – Packer game then watch it on TV. Despite their obnoxious fans, I do admire the 100′ wide concourses compared to the Domes 12′ wide concourses.

    Those 7,700 new seats are going to cost $179 million? Really!?

    How does a brand new 65,000-70,000 seat stadium cost $975 million and adding 7,700 seats to an existing palace cost that much?

    Somethings not right there.

    Especially since they just put in $295 million 8 years ago. Loved the first game back at Lambeau after the renovation, way to throw 4 picks Brett and watch as the Vikings stomped the place quiet.

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