Why do the Green Bay Packers play in Green Bay?
The Green Bay Packers have been around for over a century. In that time Packers fans have seen legendary players win a total of four Super Bowls.
The Green Bay Packers are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. They have won four Super Bowls including the first one ever held in 1967 and had 11 NFL Championships before the merger happened. But if I asked you to point to Green Bay on the map, could you do it?
Where is Green Bay?
NFL franchises are usually based out of big cities, and big markets that can draw plenty of fans and plenty of revenue when game day hits. The Packers have held strong since their humble beginnings and after a century long history, they remain in a small lake side city in Wisconsin. So the question is, why Green Bay?
To answer that question we may need to go a bit deeper and pull out our maps, or atlases. A little more than a hundred miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin sits a small little Lake Michigan town that is know as the frozen tundra.
Green Bay, Wisconsin: home of the Packers and the Cheeseheads
Green Bay has a population a little over 100,000 and most of which are considered ‘cheeseheads.” Although that is what the Packers fans are called, they are not so much know for their cheese in Green Bay as they are for another household product. The city that has been home to Aaron Rodgers since 2005 is known as the “Toilet Paper Capital of the World” because of its impact in the paper industry.
Although the population of Green Bay barley brushes six figures, they do have an airport which almost every team uses for their road trips against the Packers. The Austin Straubel Airport is open all year long, as long as weather permits. As far as Hotel options, Green Bay is a bit short when it comes to choices of hotels capable of housing an entire NFL team. The most common option for the Packers’ opponents is a hotel called the Paper Valley Hotel.
As we can see, Green Bay is a small city, with a small airport, and not many hotels to choose from. So why is such a seemingly inhospitable place for an NFL franchise still one of the sacred holy grounds in the league?
Why Green Bay?
What you have to understand is that in the early days of the NFL, and the early days of the Packers, most of the teams from around the league were from small towns and cites. While Chicago, and Cincinnati and New York had teams, cities like Akron, Canton, Rock Island and Evansville also had teams.
Those were the first true teams in the NFL until a decade later when teams either crumbled or moved to bigger cities to stay afloat. The big reason the team has lasted so long in a city not as equipped to have an NFL team as say a New York or Philadelphia, is their fan base.
When the team hit financial troubles in the early 20’s the franchise decided to sell shares of the team to the public. This created a bond between the community and the team that would prove to be unbreakable up until today.
Since then the Packers have had countless legends put on the yellow and green helmets and take the field at Lambeau while the franchise has won four Super Bowls in it’s long and illustrious history.