Stadium renovation in high gear

Despite a two-week delay because of the Green Bay Packers home playoff game against San Francisco, work on the new luxury boxes and the upper concourse of Lambeau Field is on schedule, according to Stu Zadra, project manager with The Hammes Co.<p>

Zadra gave members of the media a peek at the demolition of the now-gutted old skyboxes inside the stadium bowl on Wednesday. Demolition work began less than two days after Green Bay's 25-15 wild card playoff win over the 49ers Jan. 13. Next week, crews will work round the clock in two shifts for six weeks on removing the existing skyboxes, and the steel framework will begin for the new luxury boxes.

The goal is to complete the new upper concourse around the stadium's fourth level and the new luxury boxes by mid-August of this year when the Packers host their first exhibition game.

"We were pushed back a little for the playoffs, but otherwise are on schedule," Zadra said. About 600 people are working on the renovation project, which is costing about $12 million a month now, according to Zadra.

Zadra said televisions, refrigerators and other items taken from the skyboxes are currently being inventoried and will be donated to various local charities, starting with homeless shelters.

The new skyboxes will come in three sizes – Super, Legend and Champion – and will be located on levels 5 through 7. The new press box, which will hold 225 writers and broadcasters, will be on level 8. To meet league guidelines, the network broadcast booth, which houses the TV play-by-play announcer and color commentator, will be lower than the level 8 press box. Before the project began, the Packers and their architects met with the NFL, and representatives from FOX and CBS to agree on locations for the booth and camera locations.

All suites will give fans the opportunity to open and close windows, which the old boxes didn't allow. The 20 medium-sized Legend boxes and even the 132 smaller Champion suites more than double the size of their predecessors. There will be 14 Super boxes.

The suite-level concourse will contain corridors much wider than the hallways ticket holders used to access. Both east and west sides will offer fans an atrium-like balcony view of the areas below.

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