The Green Bay Packers have been on a run of results recently that has them in the chase for the playoffs, causing Packers fans to dream of Super Bowls once again.
Famously, the Packers have one of the longest season ticket waiting lists in world sport. Season tickets at Lambeau Field have been sold out since the 1960s and recent counts put the number of people on the waiting list at over 100,000. And so faithful are the fans that fill Lambeau Field every home game that only an average of 100 season tickets are turned over to new fans from the list each year.
Staggeringly impressive numbers when you consider that Green Bay is a city in which only around 104,000 people reside. Back in 2011 Coach Mike McCarthy said: “the relationship with the town and the team is very unique.”
However, the Packers enjoy a fanbase footprint that far exceeds the city’s limits, with almost every major city in America home to at least one Packers bar. Last year, following the expansion of Lambeau Field, one supporter found himself in possession of the
sporting equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. Tom Mommaerts’ father had signed his name to the list when he was 9 years old, back in 1979. It took 34 years to finally hold the ticket in his hand, but the wait was worth it: “There were some years when I never thought the day would come…it finally happened.”
For those unable to wait that as long as Tom Mommaerts, click here for sIngle-game ticket availability.
The Packers have been crowned Superbowl Champions just twice in the 34 years that Tom was waiting. First in 1996, highlight of the Brett Favre era, and an Aaron Rodgers inspired victory in 2010.
Yet faithful supporters still flock to Lambeau Field, hoping for a repeat of the golden era of the 1960s when Hall-of Famers such as guard Fuzzy Thurston ruled the roost.
Thurston unfortunately passed away recently at the age of 80 following a period of ill health. He was a much-loved member of the Packers team that swept all before them in the 60s, paving the way for the high standing that the team enjoys in the NFL today.
As McCarthy stated, the bond between the Packers and the people of Green Bay is incredibly strong — a statement borne out by the long waiting list for seats at Lambeau Field and the warm welcome ex-players like Thurston always enjoyed when returning. The loss of one of their own will be keenly felt.
Despite stuttering recently on the road at Buffalo, results this season still have Green Bay fans dreaming of success again. They will need Aaron Rodgers to be back at his very best but, at the very least, a good run in the playoffs would be a fitting tribute to the memory of Fuzzy.