Nobody knows when the Green Bay Packers will begin defense of their Super Bowl championship, but Packers fans will pay a bit more to see their favorite team once the 2011 (or 2012?) NFL season starts.
The Packers, which became the lowest-seeded NFC team to ever win the Super Bowl when they won three road games before edging the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV Sunday, February 6, announced this week they would raise season ticket prices at Lambeau Field.
The priciest seats at Lambeau Field — the season tickets between the 20-yard lines as well as suite seats — will each increase $4 to $87 for next season. Other sideline seats will see a $3 increase to $76 while end zone seats will rise $2 to $69.
According to the Packers, even with the hikes, their best seats remain far cheaper than those of their NFC North rivals. The Minnesota Vikings’ best sideline seat at the Metrodome cost $143 last year while the Chicago Bears, whom the Packers beat in the NFC Championship Game, charged $125 for their top sideline seat at Soldier Field. The Detroit Lions, meanwhile, charged $110 for the best sideline seat at Ford Field.
“This increase keeps us at the league average in terms of ticket price among NFL teams, allows us to remain competitive financially with other clubs and continues to recognize the value of Lambeau Field’s gameday experience,” Packers president Mark Murphy wrote in a statement that was posted on the Packers’ official Web site.
Murphy also said the Packers expected the NFL and the players union to eventually agree on the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement that would allow the 2011 season to be played as scheduled, but that the Packers would refund fans for any games that were cancelled because of the owners’ impending lockout. He said details of a refund plan would be released if the owners and players are still at an impasse when season tickets are mailed in July.
The Packers are the fifth Super Bowl champion in six years to raise season ticket prices after their victorious campaign. The only exception was the 2008 Steelers, which kept prices the same as the economy spiraled downward heading into the 2009 season. This will also be the second straight year in which the Packers raise season ticket prices, though last season’s hike was the first for the Packers since 2007.
The Packers have sold out 277 consecutive home games, the sixth-longest streak in the NFL and a run that dates back more than 30 years to when the team played some games at Milwaukee’s County Stadium.