Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Mistake in Titletown

Seems the Green Bay Packers just can’t leave well enough alone.

Why isn’t it enough to have the best, most historic facility in sports? With all due respect to Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, Lambeau Field has something that neither one of those relics could possible have: A winning tradition. I know the Red Sox have been very good as of late, but what of the 86 years in between World Series victories? And as for the Cubs at Wrigley, they have annually stunk up the joint. Chicago’s “charm and history” is done in when you consider that it’s bad “charm and history.”

Since moving to Lambeau Field in 1957, the Packers have won seven NFL championships (including four Super Bowls) and have featured some of the greatest players to ever play the game of football. Lambeau Field has seen the greatest coach in NFL history (arguably) pace the sidelines, and another likely headed for the Hall of Fame (Mike Holmgren).

During the re-build of Lambeau almost a decade ago, team President and CEO Bob Harlan stressed the importance of keeping the integrity of the seating bowl intact, while bringing the facility up to present day standards. Mission accomplished on all fronts.

The seating bowl looks almost as it did from decades ago, with the majority of seats still the same aluminum benches as there had always been. Sure, there were a few tweaks to the suite areas up top, but the seating bowl essentially looked the same.

So much for history after this monstrosity was unveiled this morning:

When these plans were floated out there as a test balloon, I had hoped – prayed – that they could come up with something better – something more…Lambeau Field.


I think the mentality must have been “ah, let’s just slap up some seats somewhere…anywhere! The end zone? Sure, why not? To hell with tradition!”

What sets Lambeau Field’s inhabitant apart is that they aren’t just any other team. They’re the Packers. Now their landmark of an intimate, historic cathedral of sport has taken the first step towards the very thing that it wasn’t: just another stadium.

What I had feared is becoming reality. Lambeau Field will just continue to expand and expand; taking with it the intimacy that made it the envy of professional sports in North America. Watching out-of-town reporters file their stories for the first time on the fabled turf is a sight to behold, because you can see the gleam in their eyes as the camera pans down to their smiling faces after their home town team just got shellacked. Add a second and third deck to the place and it just seems some of what makes Lambeau Field unique is gone.

I know more fans can get in now, and I’m all for that. I just wish that it wasn’t at the expense of turning Lambeau Field into another cold, sterile football stadium. We already have enough of those, don’t we?


  1. Great Article Doug!

    I love the idea of adding more seats but you are right. That look is just so "not Lambeau Field".

  2. It looks like a baseball stadium in the rendering

  3. maybe they should just make it into the next big house? 110,953 fans every game maybe i will get to the season tickets im number 23,401 on?