When Wisconsin hosts LSU at Lambeau Field for the 2016 season opener, it'll be the first major college football game held in Green Bay.
Packers president Mark Murphy hopes it won't be the last.
At the team's annual shareholders meeting Tuesday, Murphy said he'd like Lambeau Field to host college football games "on a fairly regular basis." Murphy told shareholders he expects the economic impact to be even greater than a Packers home game, because it'll include two traveling fan bases.
"It'll be a tremendous economic impact," Murphy said. "It'll be felt throughout a good portion of the state. You're going to have people traveling from Madison. It'll be the Saturday night before Labor Day. You're going to have people traveling from Louisiana and Madison, probably staying in hotels all the way down to Milwaukee and other places. The weather will be good then, so it should be a great event for fans across the state.
The new college football playoff places a premium on schedule strength, making matchups such as Wisconsin and LSU attractive for both teams. It's part of a two-game series, with the first game played last season at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Badgers lost 28-24.
Murphy said Wisconsin wanted to host the game at Lambeau Field because, athletics director Barry Alvarez told him, it would've been impossible to draw a team of LSU's caliber to Camp Randall Stadium.
"I think it's a win-win. (Wisconsin) fans are going to be able to – a lot of them probably have never seen a football game at Lambeau Field – so they're going to be able to see a game here. And LSU and their fans have a great reputation. They kind of travel the way Packers fans do, and so LSU, their fans are so excited about this."
Murphy said LSU fans got 20,000 tickets for the game. They wanted 30,000, he said.
"So they're going to travel," Murphy said.
With the game one year away, Murphy said the Packers have had multiple meetings with athletics department staff. Members of Wisconsin's football program have toured the facilities and begun planning for the game, he said.
If everything goes as planned, it could be the first of many times Wisconsin plays at Lambeau Field.
"It starts with Wisconsin and their scheduling process," Murphy said. "I think having been an AD for a number of years, you hate to give up home games because you know your fans love it, but I think this is going to be a pretty special experience for Wisconsin fans to be able to travel a relatively short distance and see your team play in Lambeau Field."
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