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In Sports

The Packers open training camp Aug. 1 at Ray Nitschke Field.

In Sports

In keeping with time-honored tradition, some Packers players ride kids' bikes to and from practice.

Green Bay Packers training camp guide: 2009



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The Packers' 64th training camp opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 1 as the team prepares for its regular season opener -- a nationally televised "Sunday Night Football" matchup against Chicago Sept. 13 at Lambeau 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.

This season, fans who make the pilgrimage will find something strikingly new -- the remodeled Ray Nitschke Field.

Since the late 1950s, the Packers have practiced primarily at Hinkle Field, also known as the South Oneida Street Practice Field. Hinkle Field had bleacher seating for a little more than 1,000 fans.

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 new 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.

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 three Wednesdays during camp, McCarthy conducts study and meetings instead of on-field work.

The 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. Food and beverages are available for purchase near the practice field and at restaurants in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

The "Tundra Tailgate Zone," which debuted last year, is a free attraction featuring three large tents and includes The Packers Experience, an interactive playground for kids.

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. 8 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. 15, when the Packers host Cleveland.

Many fans who attend practice 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.


Talkbacks

jk1522 | July 28, 2009 at 9:29 p.m. (report)

Whatever that means! I guess if you want to look at things that negatively, please hop off the bandwagon, as we don't need you. They are what, 4 games out with 60+ to play? Yeah, and if the Lakers didn't have Kobe, they would suck too! What are you talking about?

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rabid652 | July 28, 2009 at 6:02 p.m. (report)

I guess I should just settle for mediocity like the rest of you homers. I pay my money to see a team that has a chance to win every game they play. Right now, we're looking at a team that, minus Gallardo, would be right down there with Washington. Thats ok by you?

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jk1522 | July 28, 2009 at 5:53 p.m. (report)

Hey ForgetBrett, were any of those sayings on your shirts your idea? I know for sure that "we will never forget you Brent" was not original. I guess karma has come back to bite ya since he is staying retired!!!

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jk1522 | July 28, 2009 at 5:48 p.m. (report)

Rapid-Are you kidding me..."now that the baseball season is over"???? Wow, they go one game under .500 and the season is now over. You are like so many current Brewer Fans, just started following them in 2007 when they started winning, bought a 20 pack for last years magical season, and are now ready to jump ship. Do us all a favor, and jump ship on the pack too!

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WestSideWillie | July 28, 2009 at 12:57 p.m. (report)

Yikes! The Brewers drop one game under 500 and Mr. Olson heads to Green Bay.

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