Packers fans liking Chicago more than Detroit

Richard Ryman
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GREEN BAY – With two road games remaining this season, Green Bay Packers fans show a decided preference for Chicago over Detroit.

Detroit is rarely a popular destination for Green Bay fans, but that could change if the Packers continue to play like they did Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles and the game against the Lions decides the NFC North division title.

As of Wednesday afternoon, SeatGeek said 6.5 percent of secondary ticket buyers for the Chicago game are from Wisconsin, while only 2 percent of Detroit game sales are from the Badger State. Packers fans from other states no doubt bought tickets to those games as well, but it would be impossible to measure.

"Detroit is not one of our most popular road destinations in any year, frankly," said Dennis Garrity, president/CEO of Event USA in Ashwaubenon. "Jan. 1 probably dampens the interest a little bit more."

The median price for the Lions game is $182, according to Vivid Seats. The Chicago game comes in at $226. By comparison, the three remaining games at Lambeau Field are $169 against Houston, $210 against Seattle and $203 against Minnesota. The lowest price for the Detroit game was $92 on Wednesday.

"Right now, this Packers at Lions game is on pace to be the least expensive chance to see the Packers this season, home or away," said Chris Leyden of SeatGeek.

Garrity said the interest in the Chicago game is less than in previous years, which is likely due to the poor play of both the Bears and Packers and especially because the game is Dec. 18. Packers fans are more willing to sit in freezing cold at Lambeau Field than to drive to Chicago for the same opportunity. Especially when they've had the opportunity to go to somewhere warmer and less traveled, such as Tennessee.

The Titans game on Nov. 13 was head and shoulders the most popular game of the year, Garrity said. The Packers had not played there in eight years.

"They want to see the Packers play, but they always want to have fun," he said of traveling Packers fans. "It's almost a mini-vacation. When the schedule comes out, they want to see if New Orleans is on there, is Arizona on there, Tampa Bay? Besides Nashville, there weren't a lot of others that jumped out this year."

SeatGeek said the percentage of Wisconsin ticket-buyers for Packers road games this year was 4 percent for Jacksonville, 10 percent for Minnesota, 2 percent for Atlanta, 16 percent for Tennessee, 2 percent for Washington and 1 percent for Philadelphia. As noted, Chicago is 6.5 percent and Detroit 2 percent.

Vivid Seats reported somewhat higher numbers of Wisconsin buyers for the Bears (11.7 percent) and Lions (4.1 percent ) games.

The interest in Detroit could change if the game has meaning.

"Then I think we will see a lot of interest in the week leading up to that," Garrity said. "The key, obviously, is for the Packers to keep winning."

Winning matters. SeatGeek's Leyden said the number of people looking at Packers-Bears tickets after Monday's game showed a sizable bump, but the percentage of Wisconsin buyers didn't increase. The game looks like it will be the lowest average resale price of a Packers-Bears game at Soldier Field.

"It currently has an average resale price of $229. The next lowest was the 2013 matchup, which ended with an average resale price of $283," Leyden said.

The Packers are 5-6 and trail the 7-4 Lions by two games, but Detroit does not have an easy path to the division title. In the next five weeks it plays on the road against the Saints (5-6), Giants (8-3) and Cowboys (10-1), and at home against the Bears (2-9) and the Packers.

The Packers, who probably cannot afford to lose any games, have to get past the Texans (6-5), Seahawks (7-3-1), Bears, Vikings (6-5) and Lions.

Contact and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at (920) 431-8342.

Green Bay and Chicago fans show their support for their teams during a recent Packers-Bears game.
Kaylen Patel, 5, of Bloomingdale, Ill., wears his Green Bay Packers gear as he poses for a family photo Sunday outside Soldier Field in Chicago. Patel lives in a house full of Chicago Bears fans.
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