'Wall of Sound' In South End Zone

Packers President Mark Murphy details a Lambeau addition; commissioner Roger Goodell pitches 18-game season; plus mch more from Thursday's shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.

Things are looking up at Lambeau Field.

As in way up in the south end zone, where Packers President Mark Murphy revealed some details about possible expansion of the NFL's landmark stadium.

Murphy envisions five "levels" of construction that eventually would boost the stadium's capacity from 72,928 to almost 80,000. The extra seating would be geared toward some of the 83,000 fans stuck on the famously long season-ticket waiting list.

Along with seats, the addition could feature a standing-room-only section and rooftop seating, ala the "Monster seats" at another famous old stadium, Fenway Park in Boston.

In the end, Murphy envisions a "wall of sound" that would amplify the Packers' home-field advantage and "build on the tremendous legacy" of Lambeau Field, which gained more than 11,600 seats in the renovation completed in time for the 2003 season.

Murphy wouldn't answer whether the team would pay for such a project or if the team would turn to taxpayers. He did say any project would practically require getting a new collective bargaining agreement that is more favorable to the teams and would take into account the "cost recognition" of what it takes for the owners to generate increased revenue.


Shareholders got to examine the team's financial data.
Bill Huber/Packer Report


Kevin Greene talks to commissioner Roger Goodell before the shareholders meeting.
Bill Huber/Packer Report


Kevin Greene's wife, Tara, sings the national anthem.
Bill Huber/Packer Report


Young fans are riveted by the reports.
Bill Huber/Packer Report


It's not a shareholders meeting without a picture of Steve Tate of DeForest.
Bill Huber/Packer Report

"I think you are hitting on exactly the point that we have discussed with the Players Association is that to create revenue, it takes an investment," commissioner Roger Goodell said. "And there is a risk to those investments, obviously, but obviously there is cost. We need to make sure to grow the game and make sure to build the game and make it better so that we have the opportunity to do that. We do believe those are the types of things that need to be addressed from an economic standpoint in the collective bargaining agreement."

Speaking of the CBA ...

Once again, Murphy and Goodell touted the so-called "enhanced season" as a way to improve the product and increase revenue. Instead of the long-standing four preseason games and 16 regular-season games, Goodell wants two preseason games and 18 regular-season games. The idea drew a rousing ovation from the fans, who are forced to pay regular-season prices for something that only resembles professional football.

The proposal isn't universally beloved by the players — including Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson — so Goodell plans on stating his case while visiting 10 training camps over 10 days. Goodell said he understands the players' reluctance but says those fears may be misplaced.

"It's one of the reasons we've talked about you can't look at this in isolation," he said. "It goes back to the question earlier about player reaction. It has to be done in a comprehensive way, which includes how we look at the offseason training. Should we still have OTAs? If so, how many? Should we have restrictions on how long training camp is? Should we have restrictions or limitations on how practices are evolved? I think all those things are important, including size of our rosters. Should we allow movement within that roster that we don't allow today? All those things can be done to improve the game, and I believe those are the things we need to focus on."

Extra points

— While Goodell said he met with Vince Young before deciding not to suspend the Texans' quarterback for his role in a recent nightclub incident in Dallas, he did not meet with Johnny Jolly before issuing a suspension through at least the 2010 season. Goodell would not go into the specifics of that case and why he handed down such a harsh penalty.

— GM Ted Thompson said incidents involving Jolly, Brandon Underwood and Spencer Havner "reflected poorly" on the franchise and that he takes " responsibility for that."

— ESPN's movie about Vince Lombardi, which will star Robert De Niro, will premiere at Lambeau Field on the Sunday before the 2012 Super Bowl, Murphy announced.

— Goodell said hotel rooms, not temperature, would preclude Lambeau Field from hosting a Super Bowl. As we reported a few months ago, the Green Bay area doesn't have nearly enough lodging in the NFL-mandated one-hour radius. Goodell, however, wouldn't rule out holding the draft here once or possibly the third Thanksgiving game.

— Maybe it was a typo. but Frank Zombo was listed as an inside linebacker on the position-by-position lists posted on the scoreboard during Thompson's report. Zombo, an undrafted rookie, spent the entire season at outside linebacker.

— Kevin Greene's wife, Tara, sang the national anthem.

— The Red Zone Channel will be added to the Lambeau Field scoreboards to keep fans informed on the other games.

— The Green Bay Packers Foundation awarded $176,000 in grants to 62 groups in Wisconsin, and the team's community outreach efforts donated 8,000 items to groups and coordinated more than 500 player and team appearances.

— More than 8,300 people attended the event.

— The players reported to training camp and moved into their dorms at St. Norbert College in neighboring De Pere on Thursday. They'll go through physical exams and workouts starting at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, with training camp kicking off at 2 p.m. on Saturday.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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