Someone asked me about travelling to a Packers game for the first time. I started to type out a response and then realized it’s a lot and other people might also benefit from this information so I decided to make a page out of it.
So here it is: my personal thoughts and experiences if you are travelling to a Packers game for the first time.
I always just drove to a game or stayed with friends in the area, so I can’t offer a lot here, but here is what I do know.
Visiting teams used to stay at the Paper Valley Radisson in Appleton. It was neat to go there the night before a game and see players in the bar or restaurant. That place closed down, but I think (if anyone can confirm, please do so in the comments or DM me on Twitter @BruceIronsNFL) visiting teams now stay at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay if you want to try to see some visitors.
The Kohler Lodge, in the TitleTown district right across the street from Lambeau, is incredibly convenient, and looks to be a very nice place (though it may not be in everyone’s budget and I think gamedays book up the instant the schedule comes out – maybe even earlier).
I love the atmosphere in the parking lot, especially the tailgate section. However, I also hate congestion and sitting in my car waiting. My game day routine involves parking on the street for free on Barberry Lane just south of the stadium and walking in. I usually get there super early, toss the ball around at the park by the Ashwaubenon Water Tower, then take a nice little walk to the stadium. After the game, I take a back street to Cormier, hit a right at Onieda, and take that to the interstate, which helps me avoid most of the parking lot congestion.
The great thing about Lambeau is that in “the bowl” (anything in the 100’s sections which was the original design of the stadium before the expansions), you always feel like you are right down in the action with great sight lines. There are no bad seats. Really. Obviously, different angles will impact viewing, but everywhere in the bowl has a nice feel too it. I know people want to be front row on the end zone to catch a Lambeau Leap, but I think the odds are pretty low.
Some of the seats I have enjoyed the most are around midfield, about 10 rows up. I sat front row on the 50 once and it was the worst viewing experience I ever had – when you are that close to the field, players and coaches standing around the bench actually get in your way. I think when you get around row 10, this is no longer an issue if you are near midfield. Sitting in the end zone 20 or 30 (or 40) rows up gives a really cool view of watching plays unfold. Even corner seats aren’t that bad in the bowl.
The bowl is an engineering marvel where you always feel close to the action no matter where you’re sitting. Also, there is no obstructed view anywhere in the bowl.
Outside the bowl, in the “outer rim” (I think these are sections 303-435) you are out of the bowl and behind some yellow bars that you see on tv. I enjoyed these seats far less than the bowl. Being out of the bowl, I felt very disjoint and separated from the action, even compared to the highest row in the bowl. It’s still a great view, I just didn’t feel as close. I never even tried to get in the new upper deck seating because of this.
My favorite seats are as close to the 50 yard line as possible (anywhere between the 40 yard lines) in rows 10 to 20. After that, I liked the straight back end zone seats in rows 20 and up. The corner seats (the wedge from being at the goalline to when you are looking straight at the field from the end zone, if that makes sense) were my least favorite bowl seats, but still, anything in the bowl is great. I don’t like being out of the bowl.
As with all things, your tastes may vary.
Note: I have not tried scalping since Covid hit and they moved to digital tickets. I do not know much about how things may have changed in this regard. If anyone has scalped digital tickets, please let me know in the comments or DM me on Twitter @BruceIronsNFL).
I’ve almost always bought my tickets from scalpers on the south corner of Oneida and Armed Forces Drive next to the practice field. It’s pretty well regulated and I never got scammed. I recommend getting there as early as possible and taking your time in checking out all the prices. If you don’t care about the 1st quarter, you can also wait until about 15 minutes after kickoff when the scalpers are ready to lower their prices (free market economics rules the day here).
Some times (like big playoff games when I want to make absolutely sure I’m getting in or if I’m going with someone who has a lower risk tolerance that me), I bought tickets online ahead of time (usually on eBay because I can’t stomach the fees on every other provider). When I bought ahead of time, I always went to check out the scalpers to see what kind of deals were available and I always wish I would have just waited and bought from the scalpers instead.
Is there a risk you won’t get tickets?
Yup, and if you miss out, you just walk over to the tailgate section and have a blast with anyone wearing green, who will almost certainly welcome you. This brings me to my next point…
GAME DAY EXPERIENCE
There really is nothing like Lambeau on game days. No other stadium in any other sport can compete.
Regardless of what time the game is, get there are early as you can and soak it in. I used to love crashing house parties along Valleyview road before they leveled them for additional parking, but there are still house parties going around. If you see one, walk in, ask where the owner is, as see if they’ll let you hang out and grab a brat.
In my experience, the response has been yes 100% of the time. I have always had a blast and never regretted it.
On the west side of the stadium, you have the TitleTown district and all sorts of fun and games that they developers have done a great job producing, and Kroll’s West is just next door for a more organic and historic experience. The burgers are good (though the legendary status they’ve achieved may be a bit heavy on nostalgia), and the party is always raging.
On the north side of the stadium, you can see the big statues of Vince and Curly, hit the Pro Shop, and check out the atrium (which is also full of games and food and might give you a chance to see some front office and media personalities walking around).
On the east side, you have the tailgate section of the parking lot. Walk around and soak it up is all I can say. These are the friendliest people in sports, even if you are wearing enemy gear.
In short, get to the stadium as early as you can and just walk around. There is truly nothing like it.
Have you gone to any Packers games? Have I missed anything you would want to share with people going for the first time?
Let me know in the comments or DM me on Twitter @BruceIronsNFL.