Every home game the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau Field injects $15 million into the local economy. But what happens when the team struggles on the field?
After starting the season with many believing the Packers to be Super Bowl contenders, the team has a 4-7 record and is in danger of missing the playoffs.
Travis Loftus, manager of Ticket King in Green Bay, said the team’s performance had a negative effect on ticket prices on the secondary market.
“It’s gone down a lot,” he said. “My guess is that it’s going to continue to go down like this, especially if the team keeps losing.”
After the team lost to the Tennessee Titans last Thursday, the average price for the Packers’ two remaining home games fell below $100, with prices dropping for all but one game.
In fact, Loftus said the price for the Packers’ Week 18 contest against the Detroit Lions is the lowest he’s been in his 12 years at Ticket King.
“From when the schedule first came out, the tickets were close to face value, but because they’ve been losing, we’ve had to keep lowering (the prices of) the tickets because they’re just. it’s not for sale for the game,” he said. “It’s crazy.”
But Nick Meissner, Discover Green Bay’s vice president of digital marketing and communications, said lower ticket prices will allow more fans to attend the game.
“Maybe it brings someone who couldn’t go to a game before, or they spend less on tickets, so they spend more in the community,” he said. “Lambeau Field is something that will always be on the bucket list for fans, regardless of how the team is performing.“
He said on a typical game weekend, tens of thousands of fans descend on Green Bay, filling local hotels to near capacity and patronizing restaurants and shops. According to the Packers, the organization’s total annual economic impact is approximately $300 million.
Until then, Meisner said the Packers’ economic impact doesn’t change when the team struggles. He also acknowledged that Discover Green Bay doesn’t have many losing seasons for comparisons over the past three decades.
“We’ve been fortunate enough that they’ve performed normally, in seasons where they’re more of an anomaly than usual,” Meissner said.
Aaron Popkey, director of public relations for the Packers, Lambeau Field, Titletown Area and the Packers Hall of Fame, said that even though the team is losing, it continues to see a lot of attendance when the Packers play.
“The weekend game is a bucket list item for a lot of people when it comes to people coming into town for the weekend,” he said. “I mean, this is something they’ve been planning since the schedule came out last spring.”
The Packers’ game-day donations topped $9 million last year. Popkey said the team has no plans to stop supporting the community anytime soon.
According to Popki, the team’s commitment to the community stems from the support it has received from the community during the organization’s more than 100-year history.
He said the team’s first three stock sales saved the Packers from bankruptcy, and the last three stock sales helped renovate and expand Lambeau Field and put the team in a profitable financial position for the future.
“With the continued support of the community, the team realizes that there is a symbiotic relationship,” Popkey said. “So the team is investing in the community in a number of different ways.”
This commitment to the community was on full display on the eve of Thanksgiving. Packers tight end Elgton Jenkins and cornerback Rasul Douglas helped serve Thanksgiving meals to children and their families at the Boys & Girls Club of Big Green Bay on Tuesday.
That same day, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson and hygiene company Tork hosted an event that donated $26,500 worth of hygiene products to local nonprofits.
On Mondays from 6 p.m. through Dec. 12, Packers players will be signing autographs in the Lambeau Field Atrium to raise funds for the Salvation Army. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has pledged to match donations made at the signing up to $50,000.
“Because the Packers are owned by the fans, because of how close-knit the community is, we can call them a family,” Jenkins told WBAY-TV. “Being able to give back to the community is a huge part of the Green Bay Packers and the role we play.”
The Packers hope to get back to winning ways when they face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.