‘Owners' tour locker room, touch 'tundra'

Thousands of Green Bay Packers shareholders took advantage of a one-time peek inside the team's plush locker room facilities at Lambeau Field today. The tour is part of the organization's annual shareholders' meeting, set for Wednesday in the stadium.

Mari Hueppchen of Saukville, Wis. looks at the Packers' Super Bowl Trophies in the team's player lounge, just off the locker room area.

Fans file through the locker room.

Thousands of Green Bay Packers shareholders took advantage of a rare opportunity to see the team's plush locker room facilities Tuesday at Lambeau Field. The team, as part of the annual shareholders' meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, opened the doors to its player facilities at noon today. Doors are open until 8 p.m. tonight and will continue after the meeting tomorrow.

Shareholders waited one to two hours in line in the Lambeau Field Atrium then followed a path that led them past the field, into the locker room and past the team's weight room, training rooms and player lounge that features the team's three Super Bowl Trophies. Team officials said that 7,401 shareholders took the tour on Tuesday.

"It brought tears to my eyes," said Mary Mackowski of Fish Creek, Wis. "It's just awesome. It's so inspiring in there, it is."

The Packers conduct stadium tours almost daily throughout the year, but have never before opened the doors to the locker room facilities to the public. The organization decided to allow its ‘part-owners' to get a glimpse of the locker room today and again tomorrow. The Packers have estimated that about 30,000 shareholders have requested tickets for the meeting and tour.

Julie Skinkis of Seymour, Wis., walked through the locker room with her mother. Like many of the shareholders, she felt it was impressive.

"Very professional looking.," Skinkis said. "Everything you see on TV. It was very neat, very clean. Elite."

Though Skinkis is not a shareholder, she has attended some Packers home games and is thankful she was asked by her mother to take the tour.

"I was lucky enough that I was the first person she asked," Skinkis said. "I figured it's my one and only chance that I would get to see something I probably wouldn't be able to see. And I touched the ‘tundra,' which is not something you normally get to do."

Mary Dart of Algoma, Wis., along with her children Austin and Courtney, were among those who are impressed by the team's locker room facilities.

"I thought it was pretty cool on how it was set up," Courtney Dart said. "They have a big ‘G' in the middle (of the locker room) and how the uniforms, pads and shoes were laid out. It was cool."

Mary Dart's great, great uncle was on the Packers' practice squad when the team played at City Stadium in the 1940s.

"It's amazing, state of the art and everything," Mary Dart said. "Back when the great, great uncle was playing in City Stadium, they didn't get paid unless they won and they didn't have this kind of stuff."

Shareholders wait in line in the Atrium prior to beginning the locker room tour.

Fans file through a hallway just off the locker room that is lined with banners of the team's championship seasons.

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