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Drop in interest in Packers? Smaller numbers in first week of training camp events

The Packers opened training camp Thursday.  (WLUK: Carly Noble)
The Packers opened training camp Thursday. (WLUK: Carly Noble)
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GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- We're three nights from Packers Family Night, and there's still thousands of tickets available for the typically sold-out event.

Packers Family Night at Lambeau Field has sold out 12 of the 18 years it has been held. That includes recent years when the event switched from a scrimmage to more of a practice.

It certainly appears this Friday night’s Family Night might not fill up when you look at the number of tickets available directly from the team, through Ticketmaster’s website.

FOX 11 counted 35 sections that were listed as having more than 100 seats available. Some sections have more than 300 seats for sale.

FOX 11 tried asking the Packers organization if it expects the event to sellout, but our messages have not been returned.

At $10 a ticket, Packers Family Night is known as an affordable way to take the kids to Lambeau Field.

“We're usually right around face to a little bit above,” said Travis Loftus, the manager of Ticket King in Ashwaubenon. “At this point, this is unusual to be below face value.”

Ticket King is selling Family Night tickets as low as $5 on the second-hand market.

“It could be a combination of things,” said Loftus. “This is the first time in a long time they've done it on a Friday. It used to be a full-out scrimmage and it's kind of gone away from that where it's more kind of just drills.”

Less interest doesn't appear to be unique to Family Night.

The Packers reported 4,200 people attended the annual shareholders meeting last week. Last year, before it was rained out, the team said there were 5,900 shareholders in the stands. The year before that, attendance was 7,000.

While attendance isn't taken for training camp practices, the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau reports it spoke with about half the amount of people this year in the first week of practices compared to week one last year.

“Now that is people that we talk to directly,” said Brad Toll of the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There is of course a lot of people here that we do not actually talk to.”

Overall, the CVB spoke with 13,000 fans throughout training camp last year. Toll expects that number to be about the same this training camp and his reasoning might also explain the drop in interest for other early training camp events.

“The crowd numbers have been down a little bit, but we're expecting next week given the team is going to actually be practicing with another team, that is something we haven't seen actually for many, many years,” said Toll.

The Houston Texans will practice with the Packers on Ray Nitschke Field next Monday and Tuesday mornings ahead of their Thursday exhibition matchup. Each practice is scheduled to begin at 10:15.

“You're from Iowa, you're thinking about coming up, you have your choice of weeks, you're probably going to take the one where the Texans are in town,” said Toll.

FOX 11 also asked Toll and Ticket King if perhaps there is just a Packers fatigue, coming off two years without making the playoffs.

Toll says having an elite quarterback like Aaron Rodgers still draws a lot of people to Green Bay for training camp.

Ticket King reports early season games are selling well, but late season games are less than stellar.

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“There is just a couple games right now that are kind of mind boggling right now of how many seats we’ve sold,” said Loftus. “Hopefully that will turn around if the team does well, but if not, it could get ugly real quick.”

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