GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV) – State Representative David Steffen wrote the bill that would eliminate the stadium board and give control to the city of Green Bay. His plan would also redistribute $80 million currently controlled by the board to homeowners in Brown County.
He outlined his plan back in November at a press conference and said, “The stadium district exists as a statutory artifact. It has no purpose as articulated in state law and therefore has no real reason to continue.”
But the Green Bay Packers look at the situation differently in a statement the organization said the original 2001 contract must stay in place through 2031.
A packers spokesperson said in part, “The trust fund is administered under the 2001 Lambeau Field lease that was approved by the Green Bay Common Council and committed the trust fund exclusively to Lambeau field operation and maintenance costs for the duration of the lease. By 2015, the trust fund had accumulated enough to make all of the trust fund’s required operation and maintenance payments through 2031. The sales tax was then retired.”
Once the sales tax collected just over 300 million dollars, a cap set by lawmakers prior to enacting the tax, collections stopped and some money was set aside for the future. Brown County Supervisor Patrick Evans said returning the remaining $80 million to homeowners defeats the original purpose of the tax.
“Those dollars are allocated specifically for the maintenance and upkeep of Lambeau field,” said Evans.
Evans says the board does serve a purpose, it vets each time the packers ask to use these public funds to update the stadium and without the stadium district board the responsibility and funding of upkeep would fall on the city of Green Bay.
“I feel that the stadium district board has done a very good job of maintaing a great oversight with this,” sid Evans. “Questioning the packers when they do need funds. It’s nothing that you want to get rid of, you don’t want to just say oh we’re gonna throw this all back on the city of green bay.”
Evans said he wants the Brown County Board to go on record in support of the continued existence of the stadium district board.
“We’ll have that discussion at executive committee. Represenative steffen will be there, Mr. Popkey from the Packers will be there and Mr. Webb from the Stadium District Board will be there. And we’ll have a real clear cut discussion of what Represenative Steffens is wanting to do with this,” said Evans.
Evans wants the results of the vote to be sent to the legislature in Madison.
The next Executive Committee Meeting is planned for Feb. 7th and the next full County Bord Meeting is set for Feb. 16th at the Resch Expo Center.