Following Football History: The Packers Heritage Trail
GREEN BAY, Wis. — To kick off Green Bay week, The MMQB got a lesson in tradition from Packers historian Cliff Christl, a Green Bay native who spent 36 years as a sportswriter, much of that time covering the Packers. Christl took us along the Packers Heritage Trail, a 22-stop tour that tells the story of the team's history and its improbable survival in small-market Green Bay. Here are a few highlights from our trip back into Green and Gold glory.
Visiting players stayed at the popular hotel in downtown Green Bay until the 1970s. “In the ’50s and ’60 the Bears claimed that when they came to town and stayed there on Saturday night, groups of inebriated Packer fans would collect up a bunch of musical instruments and march the halls at two or three in the morning to keep them up all night,” Christl says.
Lambeau Field’s storied predecessor is now host to Green Bay East High’s football team. Curly Lambeau starred in the first game at City Stadium, and Bart Starr made his first start in the last Packers game there. In 1957, the first year of the new City Stadium, now Lambeau Field, Christl’s season ticket cost just $2.25.
CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN DEPOT
The Packers used this train depot for four decades to travel to road games. When Green Bay clinched their first NFL championship in 1929, an estimated 20,000 fans crowded the station and stood on rooftops to welcome their team home.
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