There’s Only One Lambeau Field
I have made the trip again, and there is no doubt about it; Lambeau Field really is a unique place to watch a sports game. There are many other venues which offer once in a lifetime-type experiences, like Wrigley Field, Wembley Stadium, The Big House, College Station, Camp Nou and Cameron Indoor Stadium. But no one who has made the trip for a game can deny that Lambeau is in a league of it’s own.
On my second trip from London across the pond, I once again was able to experience the modern wonder that is Target Field before during and after their September 13th clash against the Rays. Upon taking the Pre-Game Experience tour, (which I would highly recommend for any baseball fan) I was once again assured what recent ingenuity can achieve in terms of sports venue technology as well as a deep appreciation of the past.
Target Field – like Lambeau – is smeared in museum worthy memorabilia and nostalgic artwork which makes any trip to the venue a pleasant one. From the oil paintings of the every Twins manager on the middle deck, to the wall dedicated to the stadium’s construction, every possible inch of space has been thought about and used wisely.
Once games start at Target field, the acoustics create a constant hustle and bustle type atmosphere, which a perpetual armchair baseball enthusiast expects and longs for. Because of this, even when it is far from it’s full capacity, it doesn’t ever feel like anything but a big league game. For whatever reason, the constant chant of “peanuts here, get your peanuts!” just doesn’t get old. But which ever way you look at it, it just doesn’t have the allure which Lambeau forces upon it’s visitors from the moment it comes into view.
The second stop on my trip of the USA would be Milwaukee, which would provide me with my first experience of not only urban Wisconsin, but also Miller Park and the Brewers as they squared off against the Reds.
On the outside, Miller Park seems dated, and much like an impression of a stadium of the future from a few decades ago. Once inside the building however, it is no short of a spectacular place to watch a baseball game live. The walkways behind the stands provide a surprisingly enclosed feel with its low decks, while the view from the seats gives a truly open impression of the park which genuinely looks smaller from the outside.
While Target Field behaves like an inner city ball park, Miller can’t help but be more than that – filling fans eyes with a wide open air stadium which in many ways compares to a European Soccer venue.
While both games ended with results true to form (both the Twins and Brewers lost), it was an unforgettable experience, especially as I understand the game of Baseball far more than I did when I saw my first live game last year.
Lambeau Field then, would be the finale for my whistle stop tour of the Mid-West. During which the Packers would have a historic performance against the at times woeful Redskins. It was enough of a privilege to be able to witness a home opener live anyway, but to be in attendance for the first game with the latest renovations which broke the record for the largest Lambeau crowd was just something else.
While last year’s game (Week four vs Saints) seemed plenty loud because of the “replacement ref fiasco” taking place the week before the game, the new stands behind the west endzone definitley added to the overall ambience during the game because Lambeau Field is now fully enclosed. Every third down was near ear splitting, every fourth down headache inducing and each touchdown brain melting. It was like nothing I had witnessed before at a live sporting event.
The cheer for Bart Starr as he jogged onto the field during the Alumni celebration at halftime was also extremely special in this case, and seeing him along with his fellow team mates like Dave Robinson, Willie Davis and Jerry Kramer was tear jerking – even for an 18 year old Brit starting his eighth season as a Packers fan.
Seeing the Packers play is always special, jumping up and down after each score and big play with nearly 80,000 other Green and Gold supporters is just awesome and getting the perennial spine chills as you enter the atrium is an addiction to the eyes.
We don’t need an ambiguous world record for loudness to create a buzz around our stadium or to prove we are somehow a better fan base, because we have Lambeau Field. We have proof that small town America can win big, that a now worldwide fan base can rally around a tiny community to help create an almost century long tradition of excellence.
It’s a fact that there’s only one stadium which I long to visit all year round, because it is like no other. It’s Lambeau Field, and it’s in Green Bay Wisconsin.