Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thursday Night at Lambeau — Part I

After attending Thursday night’s debacle at Lambeau Field, we thought we’d share the evening in two installments. The first one can be called: “What it’s like to attend a game at the greatest football stadium in the NFL, and what’s it like to go in early and take photos.” So, that’s what this blog post is all about. above, Lambeau as it appeared on a beautiful late summer evening as we walked from our usual parking spot. This was Packer Game #92 for your Packerville, U.S.A. editor.

Looking at the north end of the stadium, with the new Bellin Health Gate. There’s lots of people over by the Atrium at lower left. 

The gates open two hours before game time (at 5:00 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. start), and we went in at that time. There were a couple of short lines at the Verizon Gate at the northwest corner, and we didn’t hear about any problems closer to game time with long lines. With the new increased security procedures (each person is “wanded” with a metal detector), people seem to have adjusted. Last year, there were many problems. 

Now inside, here’s a look at the new construction at the top of the south end of Lambeau. The new HD video boards are up and functional for 2012, but the new 6,700–7,000 seats won’t be ready until 2013.

This is the new HD video board at the north end of the stadium. They tied its installment with the construction of the new Bellin Health Gate.  

Pre-game activities are underway with a few players warming up and the set-up of the sideline areas continuing. This view is looking at the stadium’s east side.

Here are a few images of the Packers’ bench area being set-up. 

Looking up at the west side, we see the television broadcast booth(s). 

New for this year are these game time clocks that are at the very top of each side of the press boxes/luxury suites. We’re not sure what brought this on, other than maybe it’s for the convenience of those on these sides not having to crane their necks towards the very top of the new scoreboards at each end. Below the clock is the 620 WTMJ Packers Radio Network booth.

Sideline communications hub. 

The kickers and specialists are always the earliest ones out. They need to test the conditions and winds so that they can let the coach know what their maxiumum distance is at each end. 

Drink your fluids! 

Another Packers’ sideline-to-north end zone view. 

Top secret information. 

NFL personnel install the sound gear in the helmets of those players who will communicate with the coaching staff and sideline via radio (quarterbacks, defensive captains, etc.). 

Wide, luxurious custom seats with drink holders? Not at Lambeau, my friends. 

Looking back along the west side of the stands. 

North end view. 

That logo would look great in the front yard... taking up the entire front yard! 

Another look at the new construction. 

Press boxes along the west side. 

A look at the upper concourse on the west side of the stadium. Note: if you go to a game and sit in rows 30-60, go to the upper concourse to eat, etc. It seems to always be less crowded, and then you can walk down to your seats instead of climbing up. 

Thirteen. That’s right... count ’em. 13 World Championships. 

Tunnel from the concourse out to the seating area. 

Some Packers out warming up before the “official” later warm-up time when they’re in full gear. 

When you’re in the south end, you can’t see much of the new construction because it’s all above you for the most part. But looking outside the stadium, you can tell you’re in a construction work zone.

We like the way they tie in the “retro-look” with some of the in-stadium advertisements. 

Fans making their way to Lambeau on the east side of the stadium. This is looking out towards Oneida Street, with the Don Hutson Center at right.

A look along the luxury suites and the regular seating on the east side. 

This is it... our section in the north end zone. 

The Packerville, U.S.A. seats are numbers 11 & 12, two rows directly above and behind the 40 second clock in the north end zone. 

The view from our seats. 

Looking up and directly behind us at the new HD video board. 

A view of the other new clock(s) in each end zone. The numbers seem a little too “rounded” in our opinion, but we were not consulted. In our next post, we will have images from the game itself. It wasn’t much of a game, to be sure, but we’ll have photos anyway.

• Browns beat Packers, 35-10
• Official game stats
• Harrell grades higher than perception suggests
• Packers have targets to hit as season nears
• Packers-Browns game photos
• Greg Jennings may return to practice Sunday
• Rodgers can feel Graham Harrell’s pain
• Browns 35, Packers 10: Uh-oh and 2?
• A perilous night for Harrell
• ‘Absolutely nothing to worry about’
• Rodgers anxious for Benson, better ground work
• Bishop's season not over just yet
• Newhouse: Concussions 'not something to toy with'
• Smith passes first test
• McCarthy hopes call is teachable moment
• Packers await Benson
• At least they've got their health

Numbers crunching changes NFL thinking
Full-time officials and more crews