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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Lambeau Field's south end zone is undergoing a radical expansion.

In Sports Commentary

When completed, Lambeau Field will be the fourth-largest stadium in the NFL (Rendering: Green Bay Packers)

In Sports Commentary

Construction work has been steady and on-time

In Sports Commentary

When completed, Lambeau Field will be the fourth-largest stadium in the NFL

In Sports Commentary

When completed, Lambeau Field will be the fourth-largest stadium in the NFL

My own Lambeau island


(page 2)


"The more the merrier," said Ryan Deitman, 39 of Kenosha. "I'm looking forward to the Thursday night game vs. the Bears!"

Huh?

"As long as care is taken to ensure a good viewing experience for those in the top levels, it's all good," according to Karl Schultz, 27, a Brookfield native currently on military assignment in Texas.

Is it possible that I am looking at this all wrong?

"When I first saw this picture over the weekend, I shared it with some friends and all of us were in agreement that it looks great," says Ben Wroblewski, 26, of Milwaukee.

"I like it, I think it looks good," Racine's Todd Weill, 31, says. "It's nice to see the place entirely enclosed now. Maybe it'll help keep some crowd noise in the place going forward."

Sigh.

After a simple "That's awesome!" from high school student Damon Kuiper and "Love it!" from Kenosha native Dave Sleyster, 38, I really was beginning to wonder if I would ever find someone who felt the same way that I did.

And just when I lost almost all hope, a Hail Mary came flying in like the two that wrecked the Badgers 2011 National Championship hopes. (Too soon?)

"The addition is a bastardization of one of the great sports stadiums," Brookfield's Aaron Baird said, renewing my faith in all of Packerland, albeit briefly. "The seating decks are better suited to Solider Field, rather than Lambeau. (Former coach Mike) Sherman and Harlan did a fabulous job on the renovation. Nowhere in their wildest dreams would this addition would have taken pace under their watch. Lambeau would have better been served with either an open / party deck for standing room only and preserving seating bowl."

So there was one.

By and large, Packers fans are thrilled more fans will be able to come to games. To that end, I concur. The Packers are more than just a football team. In many ways they are our cultural identity. New scoreboards and sound system were a must; with announcements unintelligible and video board replays nearly useless in daylight.

So, there are some good things that will come out of the Packers expansion of Lambeau Field. The 90,000-plus season ticket waiting list will be pared down by several thousand while not affecting the 4,000 lottery seats reserved for Brown County residents each year. Taxes, always a hot-button issue in our state will not go up, as the team's new owners – many of you – have already paid for the expansion. In fact, the additional revenue created will actually allow Brown County taxpayers to retire their payments from the last expansion earlier than expected.

Construction jobs were created; additional stadium workers will be needed. The Packers say the sound created in the soon-to-be closed south end zone is designed to reverberate back toward the playing field, ostensibly enhancing their home field advantage.

These are all wonderful things created by Lambeau Field's expansion that should be celebrated.

I just wish it wasn't such an eyesore.

If anyone needs me, I'll be on that one, lonely, solitary island.

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