New Hall of Fame attracts 100,000th visitor

Ten months, 100,000 people. Not a bad start for the new Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

The 100,000th person to pass through the team's new and improved shrine was 8-year-old Rachel Raeck. Raeck is from Negaunee, Mich., and is spending time in Appleton with her father, Norm. She was part of a group visiting Monday from Children's Discovery Center, a day-care center in Appleton, Wis.

For the magic moment, Raeck was given a lifetime pass to the Hall of Fame as well as a bag of goodies from the Packers, including a hat autographed by Packers quarterback Brett Favre.

"I like Brett Favre, so I really like the hat," she said.

Raeck and the other children were given free ice cream at the Frozen in Time ice cream shop, located with the Hall of Fame in the Lambeau Field atrium. A plaque with her picture commemorating the moment will be placed on a wall near the hall's entrance.

It took just 10 months for 100,000 visitors to file through the Hall of Fame. That figure was reached without the benefit of a training camp, since the move from the old location had not been completed last year.

"Today was a great day for the new Hall of Fame," said Steve Klegon, director of Lambeau Field Atrium business development. "The enthusiasm the Lambeau Field Atrium has generated has been awesome. To get over 100,000 visitors to the Hall of Fame in a partial year is outstanding. The Hall has been busy and the stadium tours have been tremendously popular as well, so Packers fans are definitely coming in and seeing what the redeveloped Lambeau Field has to offer."

Hall of Fame attendance topped 100,000 in 1996, 1997 and 1998, as well. In 1997, more than 259,000 people visited the hall — more than the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, attracted.

Raeck was the 2,273,876th visitor since the original Hall of Fame opened in 1976.

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