By Christina VanGinkel
Football fans of every age, no matter which team they are a fan of, will find something to love at the Lambeau Field Atrium, built adjoining the Green Bay Packers Lambeau field, where their home games are played. Even those who are not quite sure what the game is all about will find something to enjoy, especially if they visit with a football fanatic to fill them in on the details.
My husband and youngest son are big football fans, and I am not, so this past summer when my husband suggested that we surprise our son with a trip to the atrium I was a bit hesitant to say the least. We had brought our two older children down to opening day of training camp for the Packers years before, but the atrium did not exist at that time, and while it was an enjoyable afternoon for my husband and children, I was not sure it was something I wanted to do again. My husband said that with the new attractions, he was sure I would have a good time, and he eventually talked me into it, more through a ploy on how much our son would love it.
We again chose to go down on the day the Green Bay Packers held their opening day of training camp, which provided our son with an opportunity to meet some of the players. This made for an interesting start to the day (and a great chance to take some memorable photographs of the players actually practicing,) and our son, a huge football fan, was highly impressed. Though it was not until we entered the atrium, and told him that we were not only taking a tour of the complex, but that he would actually get to go out on the field, did he explode with enthusiasm.
The Packer organization built the atrium, filled it with restaurants, including Curly’s Pub and several other eateries, and created a one-stop day of fun with the Packer Hall of Fame, an interactive game zone, and their Pro Sport’s Shop. They then had the brilliant idea to offer tours that go out throughout the day, and take you through areas of a pro football team organization that most people would otherwise never get an opportunity to experience. If you ever wondered what it was like in the sky boxes reserved for the wealthy, or to go through the tunnel that the players exit from for every home game, and out to the filed, then a tour is just what you are looking for.
The tour guides are knowledgeable, and I learned that if I ever won the lottery, and wanted to purchase my own skybox, the waiting list is something like one hundred years out. Popular they are to say the least. We ended the day with a meal in one of the restaurants, an all you can eat buffet of pizza and pasta, and months’ later, our son was still talking about the day. If you happen to have, a football fan in your midst, and happen to be in the Green Bay Wisconsin area, be sure to stop. Even I was impressed, and I have a newfound respect for the game. They are open year round, though access is limited on game days. They are located at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, Green Bay Wisconsin, and you can call for information, 920-569-7500.