There’s nothing quite like football in Green Bay, Wisconsin at infamous Lambeau Field. Packers fans are the most passionate in all the country, and they need to be, because many of those fans own a share of the team. And right now is a great time to be a Packer backer. Not only are they the reining Super Bowl champs, but they also carry a 13-1 record into their Christmas Day matchup with the rival Chicago Bears.
If you’re heading north to Wisconsin for Christmas, below are five things you need to know before you tailgate with the true professionals.
1. The Rivalry
The Bears and Packers don’t like each other and this is the third time they will be facing each other in the 2011 calendar year. Green Bay has won the first two meetings, both in Chicago, including the 2011 NFC Championship. These foes have played 183 times since they first met on November 27, 1921 (a 20-0 Bears win). Chicago has the series edge at 92-85-6, but Green Bay has prevailed in five of the past six games. Packers star QB Aaron Rodgers is 6-2 in his career versus Chicago, and he threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 27-17 victory on Sept. 25 at Soldier Field.
2. Das Bus
It’s difficult to choose the best tailgating vehicle surrounding Lambeau Field, but Das Bus is as tremendous as any. Pictured above are members of The Skinny Pirate tailgate group drinking from the “Shotski” an actual ski with shot glasses attached for group participation. The converted 28-foot school bus is constantly being improved upon every year. A DirecTV dish, 47” LCD television and eight-burner grill (106,000 BTU) are just a few of the machines added to the merriment before the 2011 season. Das Bus was one of the chose few vehicles to be features on this NFL commercial, and yes, there is a bathroom on the bus. For more information, connect to The Skinny Pirate.com.
3. Tundra Tailgate Zone
From 3:15 (four hours before kickoff) until an hour after the final buzzer sounds, many die-hard Packers fans, especially those not fortunate to have game tickets, head to the Tundra Tailgate Zone. Located in the east parking lot of the stadium, outside the Oneida Nation Gate, this FREE party lets Green Bay cheese-heads let off steam inside climate-controlled tents. This party always includes a boatload of televisions showing every NFL game, as well as live bands to get fans even more amped up before kickoff. The Zone usually has former Packers signing autographs, and the ability to win pregame passes to actually stand on the Lambeau Field sidelines during pregame warm-ups. Game tickets and other prizes are raffled off, and plenty of food and Miller beverages can be purchased at reasonable prices.
4. Hot Ticket
The reason Tundra Tailgate Zone is hopping throughout the game is because there are way more fans than tickets available. To say tickets are hard to come by is quite an understatement for a Packers game, and not just because they are Super Bowl champions. Every Green Bay game has been sold out on a season-ticket basis since 1960. And if you want to get on the season ticket waiting list, you better give it about 30 years. The waiting list is now close to 80,000 people and the stadium only holds 73,128.
5. Lambeau Field Atrium
Lambeau Field is the oldest stadium in the NFL, opening its doors in 1957. While most of the stadium remains the same as it was way back then, there have also been some much-needed renovations. One of those is the five-story Lambeau Field Atrium that was attached to the exterior of the stadium in 2003. Inside the glass atrium building, you’ll find the two-story Packers Pro Shop and Curly’s Pub, named after team founder Earl “Curly” Lambeau. You’ll also be treated to the Packers Hall of Fame to soak in 90 years of the team’s glorious history. And on non-game days, this is where your walking tour of Lambeau Field begins and ends.