The Green Bay Packers NFL American football team has reiterated its opposition to a proposal from state legislator David Steffen to disband the current ownership structure of its Lambeau Field stadium.
In November, Steffen, a Republican from Howard and a Packers season-ticket holder, claimed the current Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District that was formed through the redevelopment of Lambeau Field in 2003 is now obsolete.
Under his proposal, the District would be eliminated and its costs and responsibilities would be moved to the City of Green Bay. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported at the time that the proposal would refund $45m (£32.8m/€39.3m) to Brown County homeowners, grant $8m to other entities, and $19m to Green Bay to cover part of the cost of maintenance and meeting other lease obligations with the Packers.
Lambeau Field is jointly owned by the City of Green Bay and the Stadium District, with the Packers’ lease being with both entities.
Steffen presented his proposal to the Green Bay finance committee this week but the plans have been met with opposition from the Packers. The team feels that the proposal would end its lease deal with the City and the District.
“Rep. Steffen’s legislation would position them instead as adversaries, as they would be forced to sort out who would be responsible to make up the operations and maintenance funding deficit,” Aaron Popkey, the Packers’ public affairs director, said, according to the Gazette.
“The proposed legislation is unwise public policy for that reason alone. It would constitute a breach of trust and illegal evisceration of the Lambeau Field lease. It would leave no choice other than immediate major litigation to prevent it from taking effect.”
Steffen has stated that the proposal would not come into law this year, with his intention to introduce it in January 2023.
The Packers have undertaken significant stadium improvement projects recently. Multiple phases of concourse upgrades already completed, combined with planned new video boards and additional concourse upgrades, result in an estimated total cost of $250m.
Image: Green Bay Packers