A Land of Green and Gold
Green Bay offers great lake, great food and storied franchise
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Courtesy Greater Green Bay CVB
During training camp, arriving Packers players each select a young fan with a bicycle. Each hands his helmet to a lucky fan and rides the bike to the practice fields with the youngster running alongside.
The South is steeped in college football tradition, and fans sporting collegiate colors pervade the Emerald Coast year ’round.
In Green Bay, Wisconsin, the football fans wear green and gold, and they tailgate on Sundays — often in the snow. But Packers fans are cut from the same pigskin as a pair of in-state rivals, and they live and breathe on blind faith and fierce loyalty to their beloved team — and vice versa. When a Wisconsin Cheesehead talks about “my team,” it’s literal: the Packers are the only nonprofit, community-owned National Football League team.
shutterstock.com / Keith Homan
For 85 years, the smallest of the NFL’s franchises has so indelibly imprinted itself on the minds and hearts of Green Bay’s residents that it might as well be part of their genetic code.
The waiting list for season tickets is the longest in the NFL, more than 120,000 names; the population of Green Bay is just 105,000. Add your newborn to the list and they just might celebrate a thirtieth birthday at Lambeau Field.
The Packers’ training camp is generally held during July and August, attracting visitors from Wisconsin and far beyond. Fans line up at 7 a.m. on practice days for a quarter-mile or more along a street leading to the camp. Thousands stay and watch the practice, which is followed by an autograph session reserved for fans 12 and under.
Lambeau Field boasts a recent multi-million dollar expansion and enhancement. Stadium tours permit football fans behind-the-scenes insight, and at the Packers Hall of Fame Museum you can attempt the Lambeau Leap popularized by former FSU player LeRoy Butler. Also on site are a 20,000-square-foot pro shop and a fine dining restaurant, making for a full day of activities and experiences for young and old.
As dominant as the Packer presence is in Green Bay, there are other things to see, do and enjoy.