Lambeau Field was the first stadium built for the exclusive use of an NFL team, and is the longest continuously-occupied stadium in the NFL.
The stadium's street address is 1265 Lombardi Avenue. It sits on a block bounded by Lombardi Avenue (north); Oneida Street (east); Stadium Drive and Valley View Road (south); and Ridge Road (west). The playing field at the stadium sits at an elevation of 640 feet (195 m) above sea level.
The new stadium would be the first modern stadium built specifically for an NFL franchise. At that time, all the other NFL teams were playing either in facilities shared with Major League Baseball teams, or in other pre-existing shared facilities.
The site, bordered on three sides by the village of Ashwaubenon, was selected because it had a natural slope, ideal for creating the bowl shape. The outdoor practice fields (Clarke Hinkle Field and Ray Nitschke Field) and Don Hutson Center are all in Ashwaubenon, as was The Packers Hall of Fame until 2003.
Although they now had a modern facility in Green Bay, the Packers continued their tradition (1934-94) of playing two or three regular-season games a year at County Stadium in Milwaukee, 120 miles to the south. Beginning in 1995, regular season games were no longer scheduled in Milwaukee and Lambeau Field became their only home field. Former Milwaukee ticket holders receive tickets to a preseason game and games 2 and 5 of the regular season home schedule, in what is referred to as the "Gold package." Green Bay season ticket holders receive tickets to the remaining home games as part of their "Green package."
Since then, the Packers have been regularly increasing the seating capacity. The bowl was increased to 42,327 in 1963, to 50,852 in 1965 and to 56,263 in 1970, when the stadium was fully enclosed for the first time as the various stands were joined into one continuous oval around the field.
Construction of 72 private boxes in 1985 increased the seating capacity to 56,926, and a 1990 addition of 36 additional boxes and 1,920 theatre-style club seats brought the number to 59,543. In 1995, a $4.7-million project put 90 more private boxes in the previously open north end zone, for the first time giving the stadium the feel of a complete bowl and increasing capacity to 60,890.
This massive $295 million reconstruction was designed to update the facilities and add more premium and suite seating, while preserving the seating bowl and keeping the storied natural grass playing field of the "frozen tundra." The renovation project was completed in 2003, bringing the current capacity to 72,928.
Lambeau Field has been occupied by the Packers longer than any other NFL team has occupied its own current stadium. In 2006, the Packers completed their 50th year at Lambeau, tying the all-time NFL occupancy record set by the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field (1921–70) (While Soldier Field in Chicago has been the site of a football stadium longer, it was not the home of the Bears until 1971). In 2007, the Packers began their NFL-record 51st season at the stadium.
Although the capacity has more than doubled since Lambeau Field was opened, demand for tickets remains high - season tickets have been sold out since 1960, and more than 74,000 names remain on the waiting list.
Besides founding the team in 1919, Lambeau played for the Packers in their early seasons and was the team's coach through 1949. During his tenure, he led the Packers to six NFL championships, second only to Chicago Bears coach George Halas, who led his team to eight titles.
After the vote passed, the Packers entered talks with the City of Green Bay, which owns the stadium, to further explore the options. The City and team agreed to sell the rights if a price of $100 million could be realized, although no buyer has been found.
The Packers, although agreeing to be bound by the will of the voters, have consistently stressed that they would prefer Lambeau Field keep its traditional name, honoring the club's founder.
The Packers have sold naming rights to the five entrance gates. From the north going clockwise, they are: Miller Brewing (atrium gate), the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin (east gate facing Oneida Street), Mills Fleet Farm stores (southwest gate), Associated Bank (west gate and private box entrance), and Verizon (northwest gate). Miller Brewing is also a sponsor of the atrium, and has a section in one end zone called the "Miller Lite End Zone," giving away tickets in that area with various beer promotions.
The stadium's nickname was spawned by the 1967 NFL Championship Game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. The game was played in temperatures of -13°F (-25°C) with sharp winds, and has come to be known as the "Ice Bowl." The name supposedly came from a highlight film of the game that included in its narration the phrase, "the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field," spoken by "the voice of God," the late John Facenda. However, Steve Sabol of NFL Films has denied that Facenda used the phrase; it is believed that an imitation of Facenda by ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman popularized the phrase. An underground electric heating system had been installed the previous summer but when it was needed the most it failed to operate properly. The field had been covered overnight with the heater on but when the cover was removed in the sub-zero cold the moisture atop the grass flash-froze.
The underground heating and drainage system was redone in 1997. After the 2006 season, the surface, heating, and drainage system was replaced. The new grass surface has synthetic fibers woven into the sod. Even the new video boards, installed in 2004, have been influenced by the field's nickname, being called "Tundra Vision".
Playoff games at Lambeau Field typically feature the cold Wisconsin winters. The most famous example is the Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 31, 1967 for the NFL Championship. Still the coldest game in NFL history, at kickoff the temperature was with a wind chill of and it got even colder as the game went on. Despite the conditions, the game sold out and actual attendance was high. More recently, in the 1997 NFL playoffs both the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers struggled to adapt to the cold, muddy conditions, and temperatures during the 2007 NFC Championship Game reached as low as , with a wind chill of .
Today, the Lambeau Leap is a popular touchdown celebration done by players on many different teams.
Occasionally, a visiting player will attempt a Lambeau Leap, only to be denied by Packers fans. This happened to then-Minnesota Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot when he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. During the 2007 NFC Championship game, New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs faked a Lambeau Leap after scoring a touchdown, angering many Green Bay faithful in the stands.
The "Go Pack Go" jingle is usually played when the team is on defense or during the start of a drive on offense. A song built around this jingle is "Go Pack Go!" by The 6 Packers.
The House of Pain hit "Jump Around" is often played during one time-out at Lambeau, resulting in widespread jumping around by the crowd. This tradition began due to the popularity of the same song/crowd-participation tradition at University of Wisconsin football games.
Shortly after the 2006 Wisconsin–Ohio State hockey game (see below), newspaper reports said the Wisconsin football team might be interested in moving a non-conference road game to Lambeau Field. The Packers have also shown interest in this possibility, though such a game is unlikely to occur until sometime after the 2008 season.
The Packers have one of the longest waiting lists for season tickets in professional sports with about 74,000 people as of May 3, 2007. Lambeau has been sold out on a season-ticket basis since 1960 (259 consecutive games at the start of 2007, including playoffs).
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