As NFL teams continue making preparations for the start of training camp, one major question remained about the Green Bay Packers’ annual events. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans will not be allowed at practices — an edict that came down from the league some time ago — and the team has gone to an all-virtual annual Shareholders Meeting.
But what of Family Night?
The annual event — first a scrimmage and now a more traditional practice — is always one of the highlights of training camp, as Packers players get their annual introduction to Lambeau Field each August. Even more fun is the opportunity for local fans and their families to participate, sitting in the seating bowl for a low price per person. And of course the event helps the community as well, with ticket sale revenue going to various charitable causes.
However, this year’s event will get the same treatment as the rest of training camp. The Packers formally announced plans for Family Night on Wednesday, confirming that the event will still take place at Lambeau Field but with no fans in the seats. Instead, it will be broadcast on local television around the state as usual but the players will work out in front of an empty stadium.
Along with this announcement, the Packers also confirmed that the team will not allow fans to attend practice per the NFL’s guidance, nor will there be anyone in the seats at Lambeau if any preseason games do take place there. The team is continuing to work on protocols for regular season attendance and did not confirm any plans for those games.
This move will surely come as a disappointment for Packers fans, as Green Bay’s training camp traditions are second to none across the NFL. In particular, the practice of riding children’s bicycles from Lambeau Field to the practice facility across the street is beloved by the fan base, but that will be on hiatus along with the rest of the typical camp activities.
For now, at least the events that are normally open to the public (aside from non-Family Night practices) should still be available for fans to watch on television or online.