According to the Packer Country Visitor and Convention Bureau, training camp attracts an estimated 115,000 visitors from across the nation and as many as 20 foreign countries. With an economic impact estimated at more than $60 million, training camp has a positive financial impact on many area businesses. The Packer Country VCB partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's Professional Programs in Business Administration for a survey in 2005 to provide an updated economic study of training camp. The figures do not include activity from Family Night, which will draw more than 60,000 fans.
A new look will greet visitors this summer as an even more festive area will be created in Lambeau Field's east side parking lot between the Oneida Nation Gate and Clarke Hinkle practice field. The main change features the popular Packers Experience in a new location: outside in the parking lot near the Oneida Nation Gate conveniently near the kids' "bike corral."
Also added to the landscape is the Arise Health Plan Wellness Headquarters. Additional signage and banners, as well as some concession offerings, will further connect Lambeau Field, training camp attractions and Clarke Hinkle Field, forming a more unified feel.
An all-encompassing visitors' guide to training camp, www.packerstrainingcamp.com is available online with daily schedules and other information. Also, a matrix message board near Clarke Hinkle Field will display practice times, Atrium information and scheduled activities. A Fan Assistance Kiosk will be located near the practice field for fan inquiries.
The Packers Experience, a popular interactive games area that annually draws thousands, returns for a fourth summer at Lambeau Field. Free to the public, it begins July 27 and runs through Aug. 17.
The Packers Experience will open at 8:30 a.m., the days with a morning practice and 11 a.m. on the days with only an afternoon practice. It will close at dusk. On days without a practice (July 27 and Aug. 1, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17) it will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be open for Family Night from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed for game days Aug. 11 and 18. All children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult or guardian to enter the Packers Experience area.
A signed waiver of liability by the minor's parent or legal guardian is required upon entering and may be downloaded from www.packerstrainingcamp.com and signed in advance to present upon entering.
Returning this year is the "Future Lambeau Leapers" area, designed specifically for fans ages 12 and younger. The area, just south of the Oneida Nation gate on the east side of Lambeau Field, gives kids the chance to meet players, shake their hands, and potentially get autographs after practice.
The area made its debut in 2006, replacing the formal autograph tables the Packers previously used. Eight to 10 players will appear in the area for approximately 20 or 30 minutes following the first practice of the day (either the 8:45 a.m. or 2 p.m. workout). The team's security department will closely monitor and facilitate the area. Last year, the area was open after the first practice of each day but never after a night practice.
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame again will be a destination of choice for thousands of training camp attendees this summer. Many new films have been added to the mix, as well as other updates. More than 20,000 fans went through the Hall during camp in 2006. Its extended training camp hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (920/569-7512 hotline).
Lambeau Field Stadium Tours, which drew nearly 20,000 fans during last summer's camp, features expanded hours as well: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Ticket sales begin at 8 a.m. (920/569-7513 hotline).
Legendary Lambeau Experience, a new two-hour walking tour, is available as well. It features stops in the Lee Remmel Press Box, network TV broadcast booth and visitors locker room. Included in the tour is an admission pass to the Packers Hall of Fame, a lunch voucher for the Hall of Fame Grill, a Packers seat cushion, and a $5 interactive game card for the Curly's Game Zone at Curly's Pub. More information is at www.packerstrainingcamp.com.
The Packers Pro Shop also features extending training camp hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays (800/992-5750 hotline).
The Lambeau Field Atrium will be open to visitors and contains seven dining options, including Curly's Pub, Hall of Fame Grill and Frozen in Time, plus four eateries. Check www.packerstrainingcamp.com for hours of operation.