State legislator drops plan to disband Lambeau Field ownership structure

Wisconsin state legislator David Steffen has dropped a proposal to disband the current ownership structure of Lambeau Field, home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

Steffen, a Republican from Howard and a Packers season-ticket holder, first proposed the disbandment of the stadium ownership structure back in November, claiming that 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 the proposal, the District would have been eliminated and its costs and responsibilities would be moved to the City of Green Bay. At the time, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that the proposal would refund $45m (£33.3m/€39.7m) 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’s proposal had been met with opposition from the Packers, which felt the plan would affect the team’s lease deal with the City and the District.

Steffen had intended to introduce the proposal in January 2023 but he has now dropped the plan after reaching an agreement with the District for improved oversight and financial transparency, the Press-Gazette has reported.

Steffen said: “I am thankful for Stadium District Board chair Chuck Lamine’s leadership and willingness to address this fundamental element of my legislative proposal.

“Financial transparency and oversight of tax dollars is a central responsibility of the Stadium District Board, and these enhancements will shine new and necessary light on Lambeau Field-related finances. Further steps relating to the long-term future and financial relationship with the stadium will now be up to the community and its local leaders.”

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