The Packers' idea behind Family Night, which began in 1999, is to give families across the state and beyond a chance to see the Packers scrimmage inside Lambeau Field. As we all know, taking a family of three, or four, or more to a Packers preseason or regular season game nowadays is cost prohibitive for many families. If you're lucky enough to secure tickets at face value, the price of admission will be $65 and up. Add in a parking fee, food and beverages, and family will spend about $250 or more for an afternoon of football entertainment. If you are forced to buy tickets through a broker, that bottom line will easily double or triple.
Why are stadiums during the regular season mainly filled with adults? Only one or two from a family can affort to go, and that's usually going to be Mom and Dad, or maybe just one of the two.
Along comes Family Night, and suddenly men, women and children get a chance to see the Packers in Lambeau Field in a game-like situation for an affordable admission. A great idea by Packers Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Jones and company. Tickets for the first family night, which drew 46,420 fans, were priced at $6 apiece. Though the event has grown in popularity over the years, the Packers have kept the price of tickets reasonable - $8 apiece for this year's event with parking set at $5. All proceeds from parking go to the Green Bay Packers Foundation to be dispersed to area and state charities through its annual grant program.
When tickets went on sale last Saturday, fans responded en mass through the Internet, phone and in person. First come, first served. Tickets were gobbled up by the dozens, or hundreds in some cases. And that's where this year's Family Night has suffered a black eye.
Many of the tickets are now owned by ticket brokers, or greedy fans trying to make extra money by scalping them for $20 more apiece. This is out of line.
The Packers would be wise to limit the number of tickets sold to one person to 20 or less for future Family Nights. This would limit the number sold to ticket brokers and allow more families to attend the scrimmage in a way it was meant to be.