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Packers 'party atmosphere' results in 91 ejections

Jan. 8, 2013
 
Fans watch the Green Bay Packers kickoff to start the NFC wild-card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media
Fans watch the Green Bay Packers kickoff to start the NFC wild-card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media

A season-high 91 people were ejected from Lambeau Field during Saturday night's NFC wild-card playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay police Lt. Jody Buth said those numbers, coupled with 21 arrests, were “very high” compared to previous games. Those high numbers came despite a decision by the Packers organization to stop selling alcohol at the beginning of the third quarter instead of the end of that quarter.

The previous high for ejections during the 2012 regular season was 55 during the Sept. 13 game against the Chicago Bears. Also, 50 people were ejected during the Dec. 9 game against the Detroit Lions

A Press-Gazette Media analysis found averages of 5.5 arrests and 18.4 ejections were reported when the Packers played non-divisional opponents in regular-season home games from 2005 to 2011. However, when the Packers played the Vikings at home in the regular season, those averages more than doubled during that span to 10.3 arrests and 40 ejections.

“When you take everything into consideration ... it was a divisional rival, during a playoff game ... on a Saturday when people didn’t have to work the next morning, a few people at the game ended up taking a part in a party atmosphere more than they should have, and got themselves arrested or ejected,” Buth said. “(We had a) zero-tolerance approach to this game as far as misbehavior.”

Typically, security officials give warnings before ejections for misconduct. But on Saturday, people were immediately ejected for misconduct.

Attendance at Saturday's game was 71,548, the fourth-largest crowd in Lambeau Field history.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
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573 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
854 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1270 votes

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports