Lambeau Field's New Look

When I made my way to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a media trip earlier this month, I wasn’t surprised in the least to find nearly five hours of my itinerary occupied by activities at Lambeau Field, a massive, green-and-gold mecca for proud Packers fans. But what surprised me most was the newly refreshed and expanded stadium’s many offerings (aside from its games, of course), from exclusive stadium tours of behind-the-scenes action to its 13 types of meeting spaces—many with expansive views of the field. Here are my top three Lambeau experiences, which may inspire you to take your group to the stadium Vince Lombardi made famous. We started our Packers-filled afternoon with a Classic Lambeau Field Stadium Tour, during which I got a glimpse of one of the hard-to-come-by private suites overlooking the field. After descending a few floors deep into the heart of the building, it was time to walk out into the stadium, just as the team does… but without 80,000 cheering fans. I also learned how the grounds crew keeps the Kentucky bluegrass turf healthy on non-game days (part of which involves prohibiting touring guests from stepping foot on the field) and that more than 30 miles of heating pipe runs underneath the field to keep it from freezing. After a rousing “Go Pack, go!” chant, it was time to check out the Packers Hall of Fame. Recently given a major overhaul, the two-story, 15,000-sq.-ft. Hall of Fame is easily accessible off of the main atrium and is overflowing (as expected) with all of the Packers history you can handle. The experience, which is available on game days and non-game days, employs a refreshing mix of media, from high-tech, interactive touch-screen displays to classic glass-enclosed displays containing game-worn jerseys and giant cleats, signed contracts of famous players and everything in between. A replica of Vince Lombardi’s office is also up for exploration, and the Hall of Fame experience ends fittingly with an illuminated display of the Packers’ four Super Bowl trophies—and one very sparkly Super Bowl ring belonging to Aaron Rodgers from the team’s 2010 win. Since its grand reopening in August, the space has played host to a number of private, after-hours events, including everything from cocktail, dessert and heavy hors d’oeuvres receptions to sleepovers for Scouts (which are super popular—the Hall of Fame is already booked through August 2016), and can hold up to 500. After getting my lifetime fill of Packers history, my group walked across the atrium to the brand-new 1919 Kitchen & Tap gastropub, a nod to the year the team was formed. Its ingredients are locally sourced and the cocktails are seriously fresh—and there are more than 30 brews on tap, including varieties from local favorite Titletown Brewing Co. Parmesan-breaded cheese curds are a must, as is the 1919 Burger stacked with havarti cheese, fried sauerkraut, peppered bacon and red pepper aioli. And, if you look closely, you’ll find Brett Favre’s autograph on one of the tabletops. Peek around against the wall across from the bar, and keep your eyes peeled!