Work in Sports
Another reason to try
Packers president cites poll to save Lambeau
Posted: Friday January 28, 2000 09:25 PM
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- While budget analysts study the Green Bay Packer stadium issue in Madison, team president Bob Harlan says new fan recognition for the 1967 "Ice Bowl" game shows Lambeau Field should be updated, not replaced.
Harlan was elated to learn that the 1967 National Football League championship game between the Packers and Dallas Cowboys -- when Bart Starr's quarterback sneak gave Green Bay a 21-17 victory in subzero cold -- was selected as the league's most memorable game in a survey on the NFL's official Internet site.
"It just adds one more touch to the aura of what's gone on in that historic stadium," Harlan said. "It's one more good reason why it's nice we're going to try to save it."
Harlan, Starr and other Packers personnel of the past and present have been traveling the state to push for the team's renovation proposal, unveiled a week ago. It would require passage of legislation and approval of Brown County voters in a referendum.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau this week issued its first research paper on the proposal, focusing on NFL revenue-sharing policies.
A memo from budget analyst Al Runde to Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Allouez, who represents the Green Bay area, notes that NFL franchises share revenue from the sale of broadcast rights to national television and radio networks.
The Packers' 1999 annual report shows the team received $59.8 million as its share of the league's national broadcast contract revenues, the memo says. Each franchise receives 66 percent of ticket revenues from home games and 34 percent of ticket revenues from road games.
In 1999, the Packers reported $12.4 million as their share of ticket revenue from home games and $8.3 million as their share of ticket revenue from road games.
But non-shared revenue, primarily non-ticket revenue generated at stadiums, is becoming increasingly important to NFL teams because it isn't shared with other teams, according to the memo.
That revenue comes from private luxury boxes and club seats, local radio and TV broadcast rights, concession stands and apparel shops -- just the kind of things the Packers want to add as part of the renovation and expansion project.
"A significant factor in the recent trend of new NFL stadium construction is the fact that most non-ticket stadium revenues are not shared," the memo says.
The Packers stadium bill is expected to be introduced in the Legislature within the next week.
It will call for Brown County to impose a 0.5 percent sales tax to help pay for the stadium project. It also will require a countywide referendum on the sales-tax proposal.
The state would cover about $9.1 million in infrastructure improvements under the Packers' proposal.
Gov. Tommy Thompson this week congratulated the Packers on the proposal and urged legislators to move ahead on it, but Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, sent a memo to fellow lawmakers seeking co-sponsors for a resolution opposing any state assistance.
"Although I am a Packer fan, I strongly believe that the state should not be in the business of providing funding to sports teams for renovation or construction of their stadium," Boyle said.
In Green Bay, Packer backers scheduled a tavern rally next Tuesday to seek volunteers for the "Team Lambeau" movement to renovate the stadium.