Packers brace for well-attended training camp

For fans, there's nothing better than getting a first-hand look at what the Packers are shaping up to be.

This is the last in a series of 13 previews leading up to the Green Bay Packers' July 26 start of camp.

July 10: Quarterbacks  
July 11: Running backs
July 12: Wide receivers  
July 13: Tight ends
July 16: Offensive linemen
July 17: Defensive linemen  
July 18: Linebackers
July 19: Safeties
July 20: Cornerbacks
July 23: Specialists
July 24: Coaches
July 25: 5 things to accomplish in camp
July 26: Fan's guide to camp

With approximately 2,000 seats available to the public every day at Ray Nitschke Field, located just across the street from Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers fans have the opportunity to watch their favorite team get ready for the season during training camp.

Players are busy preparing for a grueling season, and some are fighting for their careers as they try to impress the coaching staff and make the final cut.

But for fans, there is nothing better than getting a first-hand look at what the Packers are shaping up to be for the upcoming season.

"It's a kickoff to the season," said Packers director of public affairs Aaron Popkey. "It's a time of year when many fans will make their pilgrimage to Green Bay and see the players up close. It is among the most unique professional sports training camps in all the country. It's a tradition embraced by generations of fans now. Since we've had the redeveloped stadium, which opened in 2003, the experience here has been enhanced to include activities outside of practice. That way, it's an opportunity for fans to take in practice, but also given a opportunity to take in more of the overall Packers experience. The experience has grown and become something that's really worthwhile."

With 20 training camp practices this year, upwards of 50,000 people are expected to attend. According to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, having training camp open to the public brings in about $10 million to the local area businesses.

These are all open to the public, weather permitting. If there is inclement weather, practice will be moved indoors and fans cannot attend.

Thursday, July 26: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
Friday, July 27: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
Saturday, July 28: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
Monday, July 30: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
Tuesday, July 31: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
Wednesday, August 1: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
Thursday, August 2: Practice at 7 p.m.
Friday, August 3: Family Night scrimmage at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 5: Practice at 7 p.m.
Monday, August 6: Practice at 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 11: Practice at 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 12: Practice at 7 p.m.
Monday, August 13: Practice at 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 19: Practice at 11:15 a.m.
Monday, August 20: Practice at 11:15 a.m.
Tuesday, August 21: Practice at 11 a.m.
Sunday, August 26: Practice at 11:15 a.m.
Monday, August 27: Practice at 11:15 a.m.
Tuesday, August 28: Practice at 11 a.m.

Admission is free, as is parking in all of the Lambeau Field lots. Seating at Ray Nitschke Field is general admission and first-come, first-served. Gates open 90 minutes prior to practice starting, and some fans in the past have lined up even before that in order to secure their desired seat location. Fans can bring carry-ins, but no smoking or alcohol is permitted. Concessions are available for purchase.

The designated autograph area, for fans ages 12 and younger, is located in the Tundra Tailgate Zone on the stadium's east side. However, most players continue the tradition of receiving bicycle rides from local children as their transportation from Nitschke Field to the Lambeau Field locker room area. Because most players choose to use the bicycles, some are willing to sign autographs for fans who wait near that area.

The Packers Pro Shop, located at Lambeau Field, is the best place for all team merchandise. Hours at the store are extended during training camp, opening weekdays at 8 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m. Weekend hours are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The annual family night scrimmage -- which includes a fireworks display -- is on Friday, Aug. 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. All tickets are $10 and are reserved seats. This event typically does not sell out, and there are a couple thousand seats still available this year. The football activities have been cancelled at times in recent years due to inclement weather, but that is the only scenario in which fans in attendance won't see the team's scrimmage.

Don't forget to check out the Packers Hall of Fame -- open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- and the Lambeau Field stadium tour. Also, making its return this year is the Legendary Lambeau Experience, a two-hour walking tour. That includes stops in the press box, broadcast booth and visitors' locker room, as well as an admission pass to the Packers Hall of Fame.

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