Packers, County settle on field

Brown County and the Green Bay Packers recently reached a 16-year agreement for the use of Ray Nitschke Field, and both sides couldn't be happier. Though the county could have gained more revenue from use of the land, located across from the new Resch Center, it agreed to a more lucrative deal with the Packers, who can continue to use the field.<p>

The County Board voted 23-0 on June 18 to approve the new lease which assures the Packers the use of Nitschke Field through 2020. The lease begins in 2004 and starts at $125,000, increasing by $5,000 in each succeeding year.

The Packers have been leasing the field, located east of the Don Hutson Center on Packer Drive, since 1997 for $15,000 a year.

The County estimated that it could have raised well over $400,000 a year in revenue if it would have converted the field into a parking lot. But, according to a recent economic impact survey, conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Packers are annually responsible for $90 million in direct spending in Brown County, including $10 million attributed to the value of the team's training camp. As dollars are re-circulated, the $90 million translates into $144 million in Brown County, the survey revealed.

It was named Ray Nitschke Field in trubute to the fabled linebacker. Nitschke Field is one of three practice fields used by the Packers. The Packers also use Clarke Hinkle Field, on the other side of the Hutson Center, and practice inside the Hutson Center during inclement weather.

"Nitschke Field has been a significant staple of Packers football and training camp," said John Jones Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Packers. "We are grateful to Brown County Executive Carol Kelso, Board Chairman Ken Simons, the County Education and Recreation Committee, chaired by Ron Antonneau, and the County Board for helping the Packers to commemorate one of the greatest players in the organization's distinguished history. This is a win for the fans, for the community and for the Packers. We appreciate working together.

"Training camp and Lambeau Field are an economic boon to the area and we are excited about being able to continue having Nitschke Field as a key feature of our training camp tradition - and as an important facility in our football program."

Jones commended Jason Wied, the Packers' corporate counsel, for "playing a major role in guiding the lease approval process and developing the new lease framework with the Board's Education and Recreation Committee (Antonneau, Kevin Kuehn, Kathy Johnson, John VanderLeest and Joe Van Deurzen)."

"We believe that it's a win-win agreement," said Wied.

Packer Report Top Stories