Losing my Lambeau virginity: A first-timer attends Packers' home opener
There are few things I'm embarrassed to admit. I'll freely tell anyone almost anything about my life; however, there's always been one thing I've had a hard time owning up to.
I've never been to a Packers game.
I know, it's not uncommon, but it all feels a little un-American to me. Recently I was offered the opportunity to change all that when a coworker invited me to a game.
Not only was Sept. 15 the Packers' home opener, but it was also my first trip to Titletown. I wasn't sure what, exactly, to expect. In fact, every single person I discussed the game with told me a different reason why I was going to fall absolutely in love with Lambeau Field and what I should expect upon arrival. One thing was certain: I knew my experience at the game would be a bit warped because our seats were located in one of the box suites.
My plan had been to start the morning around 7 a.m. with bloodies before the designated driver picked us up around 8 a.m. The plan immediately went astray – first when I overslept and second when my coworker locked himself out of his apartment. Luck was somewhat on our side as our other coworkers were running a bit late. We finally got on the road around 9 a.m. for the noon game.
As you may already be thinking, that didn't leave time to tailgate. Driving into Green Bay wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I had heard horror stories about traffic for miles and miles, but it sounds like that typically happens during the special Milwaukee season ticket holder games. We found parking on someone's lawn and headed directly inside the stadium.
The morning rain didn't seem to stop anyone else on a mission to tailgate. Walking toward the game reminded me a lot of a Gopher or Badger football game with parking lots and house parties surround the field (of course, on a much grander scale). Rain gear was in full effect, whether it was ponchos or a torn-open garbage bag. I even spotted a few people donning fishing boots.
Once up to the suite, we were greeted with food and beverages as we walked in. I'm unsure if all the suites are the same or if there are different package levels, but the treatment was phenomenal. We had one server designated to our suite and other service staff members passed through to check how things were going. Food consisted of wings, brats, hamburgers, potato salad, cheese curds, chips and salsa, fresh fruit, cookies and brownies.
It was exactly what you would hope for at a good football party. Beer was also included in the suite, but if you're looking for hard alcohol (say a Bloody Mary) you'd need to go to one of the concession stands. Can't really complain about the lack of alcohol considering I saw beer going for $7.50 at one of the stands.
If you haven't been to Lambeau since the expansion, I recommend everyone takes a trip up to the observation deck. The view of the field and the surrounding area is spectacular. The best part about this was that the rain had just stopped and the sun was just starting to come out, making the whole area look breathtaking.
As for the game itself, well I think we all know how that turned out. There was not a dull moment and being part of that energy was not hindered by being in a box seat. I can only hope that the Packers are always crushing their opponent every time I visit Lambeau Field.
This may have been my first trip, but it definitely won't be my last. See you soon, Green Bay.
A suite? Lucky you! I went once, and that was enough for me. There were several overweight ladies taking up a seat & a 1/2, so when we got there and tried to sit in our 4 seats, there were only 3 spaces. When we asked them to move so we could take our seats, they glared at us and refused to budge. It was only after we made a stink about it -- that they begrudging let us sit in our seats. So much for the "magical atmosphere" at Lambeau.
A suite?...you may as well stay home and watch the game on tv. If you really want to "experience" a game at Lambeau you have to get there early...freeze, or get wet, tailgate in the parking lot...then go to your very crowded seat (right in back of some jackass with a big cheese head hat...or worse)...try to watch the game, listen to the drunks and people watch...now that's a Packer game at Lambeau!
Glad you had a good time. However, Lambeau in a luxery box? eh. The marval that is Lambeau is that most fans PAY $100+ for a bleacher seat next to a 300lb drunk that throws-up on your shoes before halftime.... AND we still think it is a magical experience. The energy of the crowd (when you are out in it) even on a sub-zero December game is just amazing. Few stadiums can rival the energy, and those that can are newer supped-up fancy stadiums. None have the history and majesty of Lambeau.
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