Football season is back and Packer fans are excited for the return. The new season started with the addition of 7000 new seats in the south end zone. More fans moved off the season ticket waiting list. The first padded practice showed fans coming from all over the world. The Packers have come a long way since their near extinction in the early 1900s.
The football season opened up with the addition of 7000 new seats in the south end zone. This allowed Irene Larson, 71, of Green Bay to get Packer season tickets. Irene and her late husband, Lars, have been on the waiting list since 1974. Irene says she will share the four tickets with her three children and six grandchildren. The one football game Irene plans on attending for sure is the game with the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on November 4. Irene has attended most of the Packer games for the past twenty years volunteering behind the concession stands. She said she waited for the larger green package which included six of the eight regular season home games. The Packer season tickets will remain in her family for generations to come. Once you get your hands on sports events season tickets you do not part with them.
The local news said that Aaron Rogers was the highest paid NFL player. I did some research to verify this. I discovered that this information was on the Forbes’ list of “The World’s Highest Paid Athletes.” What it said was, “quarterbacks Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers are the highest-paid players in the NFL.” Drew Brees earned $51 million in combined salary, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees and licensing and endorsement income for the 12 months between June 1, 2012 and June 1, 2013. Aaron Rogers earned $49 million after signing a new contract in April with a $35 million signing bonus.
First Press Conference with Coach Mike McCarthy:
Training camp has officially begun. The players arrived all week. They all had their physicals. A number of players did not pass their physicals due to injuries and illnesses. Therefore they will not be at practice. The players also had their NFL security meeting. Their team meetings have started.
Packer fans wore green and gold to support their favorite team at the Ray Nitschke Field. After the first practice, Friday, July 26, 2013, the fans celebrated with the Packers hosting the first 1K kids’ run for children 10 years old and under. More than 100 children participated in the run. The day ended with a family movie night, showing Wreck-It Ralph at Lambeau Field. The movie stopped but continued when the rain ended. Not many fans left. They waited it out.
First Padded Practice:
The Green Bay Packers are back and their fans are coming from all over the world with their cheer. Proof of this was on several poster boards set up outside the Ray Nitschke Field in the Greater Green Bay Convention Center and the Visitors Bureau. The first padded practice showed fans from almost all 50 states. People showed up at 5 AM to make sure they got a good seat. If it should rain the Packers practice in the Don Hutson Center which is closed to the public.
The first padded practice brought fans from Florida, California, and Tennessee to name a few states. Arizona fans Alec and Austin Ferzoco traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the start of training camp. Atlanta Georgia fan Dan Fentzke was passing through Green Bay so he watched the Packers practice. Chris Okoli from Houston, Texas was visiting his girlfriend’s family. Another person from Sugartown, Louisiana came to watch the Packers practice. Kelsey Houkom from West Fargo, North Dakota comes to Green Bay annually. Skyler Dutton was in Green Bay from West Fargo, North Dakota. There were pins on the poster boards showing Latin America, Europe, Australia and South America. People attended Packer practice from across the state and across the world.
There are 19 open practices scheduled to be held at the Ray Nitschke Field for season 2013. Tuesday, August 27, is the last open practice to the public. After the preseason game on Thursday, August 29, with the Green Bay Packers (away) against the Kansas City Chiefs (home), all practices will be closed to the public.
The First and Last Season Regular Game:
The first game for the regular season is September 8, Green Bay Packers (away) against the 49ers (home). The last game for the regular season is December 29, Green Bay Packers (away) against the Chicago Bears (home).
Click here for a printable game day schedule. Green Bay Packers Game Day Schedule.
What the Green Packers Will Not Be Doing This Season:
General Manager Ted Thompson said they will not be retiring Brett Favres’ number this year.
Green Bay Packer History:
There were a group of men who saved the Green Bay Packers from becoming extinct.
• On August 11, 1919, Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun organized a football team in the editorial room of the old Green Bay Press-Gazette building consisting of young husky athletes. That was the beginning of the Green Bay Packers.
• In 1922 Andrew B. Turnbull (former Green Bay Press-Gazette publisher) and several area businessmen paid the Packers’ debts and incorporated the franchise. They ran the first stock sale in 1923.
• The Packers could have been liquidated in 1933 when they lost a personal injury lawsuit against a fan that fell out of the stands at a game in 1931. They paid the fan out of pocket $5,000. At that time the Packers had debts of $12,300.
• With the help of Frank Jonet, a local accountant, Lee Joannes, and other members of the business community, in 1935, the second stock sale took place raising $15,000.
• The Green Bay Packers have come a long way since the financial ruin they faced in 1947. Emil Fischer replaced Lee Joannes as team president in 1947. In 1949 the Green Bay Packers endured their worst season to date, 2 to 10. They had declining fan attendance. At that time the franchise’s debt ranged from $75,000 to $90.000. The NFL owners thought the Packers were a drain on the NFL profitability. The Packers held an old-timers reunion game on Thanksgiving to raise $50,000 for player salaries and opponent guarantees. As many as 15,000 fans showed up allowing the Green Bay Packers to pay their players’ salaries and receive opponent guarantee for the final three games. The Packers had the smallest stadium and the cheapest ticket prices in the league.
• On November 30, 1949, the Green Bay Packers extended Curly Lambeau’s contract, two years, as coach. They decided to hold the third stock sale which was very successful. The stock sold for the same price that it was in 1935, ($25 per share) and the limit was 200 shares. The limit of 200 shares was to keep any one person from gaining too much voting power. They sold 4,720 shares and raised $118,000.
• December 9, 1949, NFL absorbs three AAFC teams: San Francisco, Cleveland, and Baltimore.
• February 1, 1950, Curly Lambeau leaves the Green Bay Packers to coach the Chicago Cardinals. He was associated with the Packers for 31 years.
• April 1950, the Green Bay Packers sell 4,720 shares, raising $118,000; Emil Fischer becomes team’s leading shareholder. He purchased 10 shares in 1935 and 200 shares in 1950 and became the Packers leading shareholder. The Fischer family remains the leading shareholder today. In spring of 1950 there was a successful stock sale that paid the team’s debts.
• In 1952 the Green Bay Packers profit $11,960, representing their best financial gain in years. They still had $100,000 from the stock sale in their reserve fund.
• February 2, 1953 Emil Fischer resigned as President. He held the honorary title of chairman until his death in 1958. By 1953 there was $100,000 in capital reserves, which is about $8.5 million today.
• 2013 Emil Fischer Jr., son of former Packers President (1947-1952) was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.
• Today the Green Bay Packers have more than 112,158 stockholders and stand alone as the only professional sports franchise owned by fans. They are known as the most successful franchise.
Dougherty, P. (2013, July 17). Fischer Was Steadying Force Amid Turmoil. Green Bay Press-Gazette, pp. B1, B2.
Povletich, W. (2012) Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs and Traditions. Wisconsin: Historical Society Press.