Green Bay Packers home opener to be played in an empty Lambeau Field


FILE – In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Lambeau Field is seen during the first half of an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals, in Green Bay, Wis. Opened in 1957 and eventually named for the famed franchise’s first head coach, Lambeau Field was considered the NFL’s first football-specific facility. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – This Sunday, for the first time ever, the Packers will play their home opener at Lambeau Field and every seat in the house will be empty. Kris Schuller has more on the game and the team’s message to fans.

At Lambeau Field, crews ready the stadium bowl for the Packers home opener against the Lions. But when kickoff comes you won’t see – a single fan sitting in any of these seats.

“Weird, it’s just weird,” said Packers fan Lori Ernst.

The reason – COVID 19 and the multiple safety issues the pandemic creates, leading the team to decide back in August to not host fans at the first two home games this season.

“Hopefully we can get these numbers down, where we could be in a situation where we could consider having fans at games,” said Director of Public Relations for the Packers Aaron Popkey.

While the home opener generally attracts tens of thousands of people here to Lambeau Field, come Sunday the parking lot will be closed, the atrium will be locked up.

“We just felt it was best to keep the lots closed if the stadium wasn’t open to the public,” Popkey said.

But the Packers want fans to be engaged, so the team created Gameday To-Go, which lets fans order and enjoy a taste of Lambeau at home.

“I think that fans will be engaged. I know there have been some orders already,” Popkey said.

And the team’s Titletown development will remain open for visitors.

“Even though we won’t have fans at the game on Sunday there will still be a great energy in the community – that comes with having a game,” said Popkey.

And hopefully, when COVID case numbers come down and medical experts agree, fans will again cheer on their team inside Lambeau Field.

“It’s just such a huge part of the community and it feels like we’re missing out so much,” Ernst said.

Those tarps being installed over the first few rows of seats are to protect players and coaches from possible coronavirus exposure.

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