The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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September 1, 2000 Issue

Save stadium

There are many good reasons to vote 'yes' to renovate Packers' home, Lambeau Field

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

Brown County residents should vote "yes" on Sept. 12 to renovate Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.

Reasons for approving the half-percent sales tax needed to fund these renovations include:

-- The Packers are a community treasure unlike any other major league professional sports franchise in the world. It is a non-profit organization, owned mainly by members of our community, not by a wealthy elite. These are truly the Green Bay Packers, unlike other teams, which should more accurately be called the Jerry Jones Cowboys, the Herb Kohl Bucks, the George Steinbrenner Yankees and so on. The Packers have no wealthy owner and therefore depend on us.

-- Numerous civic groups - including Catholic schools - make money by selling food in concession stands during Packer games. All other teams use concessions as a major source of revenue for themselves, not their communities. Plus, the Packers have given millions of dollars to other charities, including the Green Bay Diocese and the Shriners.

-- The Packers are an integral part of this community and its identity. They give us something to talk about around the bubbler or wherever we gather as community. And the Packers have put Green Bay on the map through exposure on TV and in the newspapers. Paper mills may have a bigger financial role in the community, but they aren't why people have heard of Green Bay.

-- The Packers have a strong positive economic impact on this area, translating into millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. Renovating the stadium and adding an atrium will increase the numbers of hours the stadium complex is used each year. And rather than harm local businesses, the atrium will result in more businesses near the stadium, just as new stadium projects have rejuvenated other cities.

-- We owe it to our children and grandchildren to pass on to them the Packers as part of our legacy and heritage.

-- Although Lambeau Field is a community treasure, it's no architectural masterpiece. For aesthetic reasons alone, we need to renovate the stadium to make it looks like the treasure it is, instead of an outbuilding.

As someone who 11 years ago moved to Green Bay from Portland, Ore., I believe most people here don't realize how the Packers are part of our fabric of life. They are part of the air we breathe. Let's not snuff that out. Vote "yes."

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