In Sports

The Packers open training camp on Saturday afternoon.

In Sports

One of the traditions of Packers camp is when players like A.J. Hawk borrow bikes to ride to practice.

Packers training camp guide



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The Packers' 65th training camp opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 1 as the team prepares for its regular season opener -- a nationally televised match-up against Philadelphia Sept. 12 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Players will move into Victor McCormick Hall on the St. Norbert College campus today, and will remain there until Aug. 18. The college, located in De Pere, has housed players for the past 52 summers -- the longest consecutive stay in the National Football League. St. Norbert is located six miles south of Lambeau Field.

Players will participate in a conditioning practice Friday afternoon, with the first official practice of camp slated for 2 p.m. Saturday at Ray Nitschke Field.

Packers pre-season workouts have become a popular destination for fans and tourists. According to the Packer Country Visitor and Convention Bureau, more than 100,000 spectators from around the nation and as many as 20 foreign countries watch practice and pump an estimated $60 million into the economy in the Green Bay area.

Nitschke Field, which has a brick faced that gives it the look of a small high school stadium, has five rows of permanent metal bleachers and will seat roughly 1,500 fans.

The complex contains two fields -- one is regulation 100 yards and the other is 70 yards -- made of DD GrassMaster, the same surface at Lambeau Field. The smaller field has an underground heating system identical to the one at Lambeau, which will enable the Packers to practice outside in cold weather conditions.

The new field also has lights to accommodate night practices, which have been a staple of coach Mike McCarthy's training camp since he was hired in 2006.

Gates at Nitschke Field open 90 minutes before each scheduled practice and close 30 minutes after its conclusion. Admission to practice is free, and there is no charge to park at Lambeau Field, where tailgating is allowed. Fans can bring small bags and coolers, but alcohol and smoking are prohibited. Video recording equipment is prohibited, along with still cameras with lenses longer than 12 inches. Food and beverages are available for purchase near the practice field and at restaurants in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Practices will be conducted in full pads or "shells," which are smaller shoulder pads worn with helmets and shorts. Rather than having a morning and late-afternoon practice each day, as was customary in the past, McCarthy rotates the workouts.

Two-a-day workouts are often followed by a single practice the next day. On the first three Wednesdays during camp, McCarthy conducts study and meetings instead of on-field work. Players are also off on the day following exhibition games.

In case of rain or inclement weather, the Packers will practice indoors at the Don Hutson Center, which is off-limits to fans.

The annual Packers Family Night is Aug. 7 at Lambeau Field. Activities begin at 5:30 p.m. in the stadium, followed by drills at 6:30 and a scrimmage at 7:30. The exhibition opener is Aug. 14, when the Packers host Cleveland. Tickets for the Family Night scrimmage are $10, with parking available for $5.

Many fans who attend practice or exhibition games also make it a point to visit the Packers Pro Shop and the Packers Hall of Fame. The Pro Shop is open during most workouts, generally from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

The Hall of Fame is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors 62 and up), military personnel, college students and youths ages 12-17; $5 for youths ages 6-11; and free for kids 5 and under.

The Packers also conduct one-hour tours of Lambeau Field at 15-minute intervals beginning at 9 a.m. through the late afternoon. Tickets are available in the Atrium and cost $11 for adults; $10 for seniors (62 and up), military personnel, college students and youths ages 12-17; $8 for youth ages 6-11; and free for kids 5 and under.

Adults can buy a combination Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field tour ticket for $19. For $38, the Packers offer a Legendary Lambeau Experience, which includes a two-hour walking tour with stops in the press box, broadcast booth and visitors locker room. The cost includes a pass to the Hall of Fame.

Here is a look at the schedule for practice for the first week of camp. For the rest of the schedule, consult the team's Web site, packerstrainingcamp.com.

Saturday -- 2 p.m. (full pads)

Sunday -- 8:45 a.m. full pads; 6:30 p.m. (full pads)

Monday -- 2 p.m. (full pads)

Tuesday -- 8:45 a.m. (shells); 6:30 p.m. (full pads)

Wednesday -- No practice

Here is the Packers' exhibition schedule:

Aug. 14 -- Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Aug. 21 -- at Seattle, 9 p.m.

Aug. 26 -- Indianapolis, 7 p.m.

Sept. 2 -- at Kansas City, 7 p.m.

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