Buzz for Packers-Seahawks game blows up at bars

Kendra Meinert
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How big is the buzz for Thursday night's Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game to kick off the NFL season?

About 25 feet.

That's the size of the inflatable screen The Bar on Holmgren Way plans to have out on its patio for patrons who want to catch the nationally televised game in the company of their green and gold brethren and some wings.

"Bigger is better, right?'' says manager Aaron LaCrosse.

The Bar also went the blow-up route for the Badgers game last weekend, as did Hagemeister Park on its patio in downtown Green Bay.

Green Bay Distillery, coming off its busiest month in three years, thanks to its proximity to Packers training camp, is expecting a crowd tonight as well, said general manager Michael McNerney. Fan optimism always runs high heading into a new season, but he says it's especially so this year. He thinks it's a combination of all kinds of factors: a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the addition of former Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, a successful draft, a good-looking defense and a chance to knock off the reigning Super Bowl champs.

"People are amped up a little bit, from what I can tell,'' McNerney said. "There's a lot of excitement for this game.''

The Distillery normally doesn't have 107.5 The Fan in the house to do live broadcasts for away games, but given the hype around this one, WDUZ will be broadcasting starting at 4:30 p.m., and the first 107 fans get a complimentary Green & Gold Drink — the bar's signature drink made with its own vodka. If the weather cooperates, the Distillery will open up the glass garage doors out onto the patio.

Also in the stadium district, Anduzzi's Sports Club is planning for what assistant general manager Eric North expects to be not only a good-sized crowd but a "vocal'' one, too. He has also noticed increased excitement surrounding the start of this season.

"The last three weeks, that's all people have been talking about. Haven't heard a negative thing yet,'' he said. "I think there are a lot of people expecting the world, and hopefully they won't let us down like our Brewers are doing.''

— and follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert.

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