The date that it will begin is still uncertain, but a widely-expected move regarding the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming training camp is now official. On Wednesday, the team formally announced that players will not stay at St. Norbert College during this year’s camp, ending a tradition that the team has observed for more than 60 years.
According to the press release, the decision is driven by the NFL’s new protocols regarding camp, which require teams to use their own facilities as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19. As a result, all of the team’s activities will take place inside Lambeau Field itself and the adjacent practice facilities. In previous years, the team would reside in the college dormitories and use the mess halls for meals in previous years while traveling to and from the field for practices.
While the team typically would start camp around the last week of July, start dates remain unknown due to the pandemic. Another tradition that may be in jeopardy is the team’s open camp practices. The Centers for Disease Control still categorize large in-person gatherings where social distancing is difficult and involving travel from outside the local area to be the highest-risk activities. Even with social distancing between fans, the possibility of fans spreading the virus to the team would exist, something the team would surely hope to avoid.
By moving all of the camp activities into Lambeau Field, the Packers should be able to better control and monitor them. The next step is deciding when camp will begin.