Fond du Lac
Yesterday ,we took a motorcycle ride about 70 miles to the north to visit the city of Green Bay, home of the Packers. In fact, a visit to the Packers is probably the only reason to visit Green Bay.
The Lambeau Field Atrium is the most recent addition to the stadium, completed in 2003. It provides an area for restaurants, meeting rooms, hall of fame, and souvenir shop. As the picture above shows, there are two statues in the front. Curly Lambeau is the founder and first coach of the Packers.
Coaching legend Vince Lombardi took the Packers from a mediocre team to one of the top teams in league history.
The plaque below talks about Robert Harlan, who was responsible for the atrium addition. Note in the explanation the name of Ron Wolf. Wolf was hired by Harlan to be general manager of the Packers and is credited with building the championship teams of the late 1990s. We note this because Wolf was born and raised in New Freedom, PA. New Freedom is a small town next to the town of Shrewsbury, where we lived for 25 years.
The floor of the atrium has the lines of a football field. The lines are extentions of the lines on the actual field, so when standing on the 30 yard line in the atrium you are even with the 30 yard line on the field.
For an eleven dollar fee, we took a tour of the facilities with a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. Apparently he is also a Packer fan as every article of clothing we could see had a Packer emblem on it.
The field is nicknamed “The Frozen Tundra” after a game played against the Cowboys at minus fifteen degrees. An underground heating and drainage system operates with a system of pipes filled with a solution including antifreeze. The surface is 98% Kentucky Bluegrass with synthetic fibers woven into the sod to prevent it from pulling out during a game. An artificial lighting system, based on technology used in Dutch rose-growing greenhouses operates 24 hours a day from October to early December to extend the growing season for the field’s grass. The system is also used in some soccer stadiums where shade from stands and partial roofs are a problem for the turf, not the cold and short growing season found in Green Bay.
Green Bay is a nice little town, but football is what puts them on the map. And Lambeau Field is the heart of the city.