A young boy soaks in the view from the news South End Zone section during the grand opening of the section last week at Lambeau Field. / Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media
If you are going
• Parking lot opens at 8 a.m. Stadium gates open at 9 a.m.
• Oneida Nation Gate will not be open. Shareholders should use Miller Lite (main Atrium entrance) and Verizon Wireless gates. The Oneida Gate is scheduled to be open for Family Night on Aug. 3.
• The Atrium, and Packers Pro Shop, are open only to shareholders and guests until 2 p.m.
• The meeting will happen rain or shine. Forecast is for mostly sunny, with a high near 78. The bowl will feel warmer than that. Umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium.
• After the meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new South End Zone and the North Loft.
Meeting attendance• 2012 — 12,500, shareholders only, following team’s fifth stock sale
• 2010 — 8,300, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in attendance
• 2006 — Less than 18,000 attended the meeting, although about 20,000 took the tour of the Packers’ locker room.
• 1998 — 18,707, the record. It followed the fourth stock sale and first since 1950.
The Green Bay Packers aren’t anticipating — or fearing — a record turnout for Wednesday’s annual shareholders’ meeting, but a robust 17,000 people could attend.
Last year’s meeting was the first after the team added 250,000 new owners during a winter 2011-12 stock sale. The team issued a lot of tickets, but had no idea how many people would actually show up, so it started earlier in the day, in case it had to do the meeting more than once, and prohibited guests. About 12,500 shareholders attended that event.
This year, guests are again allowed and the meeting is returning to its traditional 11 a.m. start.
The meeting will include comments by Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy, reports by various committee chairmen, a highlight video from last season, and ... drum roll, please ... a presentation by General Manager Ted Thompson. Though Thompson makes it a point to be as uninformative as possible — he basically reads the roster — he is talking football and it is the part of the meeting many shareholders say they most anticipate.
Two individuals are nominated to join the board of directors. They are Gerald Ganoni, president of small business and specialty benefits for Humana Inc. operations in De Pere, and Craig Dickman, CEO/chief innovation officer of Breakthrough Fuel, Green Bay.
Leaving the 43-member board are George Hartmann, who moves to emeritus status because of age, and Bryce Paup, who accepted a job as defensive line coach at Northern Iowa University.
The Packers often add something extra for shareholders. This year it’s a self-guided tour of the new $146 million South End Zone and North Loft viewing deck. The stock sale that added the 250,000 new owners to the organization raised $65 million to help pay for the South End Zone project.
“Shareholders will see firsthand how their support has allowed us to improve our stadium for our fans and make the franchise stronger for the future,” Murphy said.
Shareholders who do not attend the meeting can watch it online. Details on how to do so were included in proxy material mailed last month. The webcast will utilize Adobe Flash, so it will not be available on devices using Apple iOS, such as iPhones and iPads.
The record for annual meeting attendance is 18,707, set 1998, also the year after a stock sale. If 17,000 attend Wednesday’s meeting, that will be among the larger turnouts. With 363,948 shareholders, the possibility of new records always exists.
— firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG or on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette.