Packers extend season ticket payment deadline; Hall of Fame banquet postponed
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers season tickets holders and those chosen in the Brown County lottery now have until June 1 to pay for their tickets.
The Packers on Wednesday extended the deadline from March 31 in response to the new coronavirus outbreak.
The Packers said they expect to play a full season in 2020, but season ticket holders will receive a refund in the event games are canceled or fans are not allowed to attend. In lieu of a refund, season ticket buyers can also have a credit applied to future games. Brown County lottery ticket buyers would receive a refund.
The Packers closed Lambeau Field on March 13 for two weeks and ordered employees who could work from home to do so. The closure affected the in-store operations of the Packers Pro Shop, the Packers Hall of Fame museum, 1919 Kitchen & Tap, all tours and events scheduled for the Atrium, and Packers appearances at events. The Packers-run Titletown District operations and playgrounds are also closed.
The Packers ticket office also is closed until at least March 30. Ticket payments can be made online through ticket holder accounts, or they can be dropped in a secure lockbox near the ticket office door. Communications with the ticket staff can be done by email at email@example.com.
Packers Hall of Fame Inc. said Tuesday the induction banquet for Charles Woodson and Al Harris, scheduled for April 18, was postponed to August. The new date will depend on the Packers' preseason schedule, which has not been released.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday urged a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, while Wisconsin on Tuesday pared that to no more than 10. The Hall of Fame banquet draws more than 900.
The NFL announced Monday that all team's facilities would be closed to players for two weeks and the start of off-season team activities would not begin on April 20 as scheduled.
The team on Wednesday released a public service announcement on social distancing and proper hygiene by head coach Matt LaFluer. It can be seen at the top of this story and at packers.com.
How long those shutdowns will remain in effect depends on how the new coronavirus spreads in the United States. Public health officials have warned it will get worse in the coming weeks.
"I think the focus now is on the immediate weeks ahead," said Aaron Popkey, director of public affairs for the Packers. "We said we’d take a look at things toward the end of next week and reassess opening the following week."
The Packers have more than 450 full- and part-time employees, some of whom cannot do their jobs while the stadium is closed.
"We have a plan in place for all Packers employees who may be affected," Popkey said. He declined to provide details.
The Packers could turn to their corporate reserve fund to help them get through this shutdown, or more significantly, an interruption of the regular season. The team reported the fund at $390 million during its annual meeting in 2019.
On the plus side, the approval of a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement Saturday by NFL players means the money won't be needed for a strike or lockout.
It is too soon to know if the virus will remain an issue into the season. It already caused suspensions or cancellations in the NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA basketball tournaments and pretty much every other spring sport.
"As you go further out, we will take a look at Packers events or Packers-related events that are on the calendar, such as the Tailgate Tour in May and June events. All those types of events we are evaluating," Popkey said.
The NFL owners meeting for the end of March was canceled, and the league on Monday announced the draft in Las Vegas on April 23-25 will be held without public participation.
That could have long-term effects on Green Bay, which applied to host a draft in either 2022 or 2024 and beyond. The NFL hasn't said whether Las Vegas might be bumped to another year, such as 2022. Cleveland is scheduled to host in 2021 and Kansas City in 2023.
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