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Fee Puts Packer Fans on Hot Seat

SPORTS WEEKEND

September 15, 2000|Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Tradition went head-to-head with pocketbooks Thursday as Green Bay season-ticket holders struggled with a surcharge to help pay for renovations at Lambeau Field.

The Packers expect to raise $92.5 million through one-time seat fees once details for the payments are finalized.

Currently, fans with three-game packages will pay $600 a ticket. Fans with seven-game packages will pay $1,400 a ticket.

"It's absolutely gouging," said Arvin Schultz, who faces $5,600 in fees for four tickets to seats on the 30-yard line that his late father-in-law passed down after three decades.

Some called the surcharge a slap in the face to loyal fans who have backed the team through losing seasons. But few said they would give up their tickets, family heirlooms for many.

"We'll find a way to pay it. We won't give [the seats] back," said Schultz's wife, Judy.

The surcharges are part of the Packers' $295-million plan to revamp the aging stadium, which became reality Tuesday when Brown County voters approved a half-percent sales tax to pay back $160 million in Lambeau construction loans.

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