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The Down Side of Fans Returning to NFL Games

When they hit the road last season, the Green Bay Packers were practically unstoppable in road games.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – NFL teams scored a combined 12,692 points last season, the first season of more than 12,000 points in league history. Offenses generally thrived in tranquil road environments.

The Green Bay Packers scored 256 points in their eight games away from Lambeau Field, a franchise record and the 19th-most in NFL history. They scored at least 31 points in seven of eight road games, the only blip on the scoring radar being the loss at Tampa Bay.

So, while the Packers last week trumpeted their plan to host fans at full capacity for games this season, it will be interesting to see if the team benefits in the grand scheme of things as clubs around the NFL also plan to play in front of full houses as the nation gets past the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without fans to interfere with his pre-snap communication, Aaron Rodgers turned in an MVP season. His 120.7 passer rating and 25 touchdown passes in road games rank sixth in NFL history.

The Packers plan to host fans at full capacity not only for games but for the annual shareholders meeting, training camp and Family Night.

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“We’re super-excited about that,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “I think there’s just a different level of energy that our fans bring. Obviously, we appreciate our fan support so much. They’re the greatest fan base I’ve ever been around, and I think we can all say that in this building. It’s going to be great to have them at training camp, to have them back to fill Lambeau, to make it what, in my opinion, is the most special place to play in the National Football League. It definitely had a different feel to it last year without that fan support.”

Upcoming Important Packers Dates

– The shareholders meeting is set for 11 a.m. on Monday, July 26. The event will be held in Lambeau Field, rain or shine. Further information about the meeting can be found at packers.com/community/shareholders.

– The Packers 5K Run/Walk, presented by Bellin Health will return this year on Saturday, July 24, with a computer-timed run highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The Packers also will continue the tradition of hosting a 1K Kids Run, presented by Polaris on Friday, July 23. Fans can register for both events at runsignup.com/Race/WI/GreenBay/GreenBayPackers5KRunWalk.

– Training camps for most NFL teams, including Green Bay, can begin on July 27. The first practice can be July 31.

– Packers Family Night, presented by Bellin Health is set for Saturday, Aug. 7. More information about this event will be announced soon, including the on-sale date for tickets and details about accompanying festivities.

“The Packers are planning for the season and the various activities that annually help all of us get excited for the return of football,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said. “We continue to encourage individuals to follow CDC recommendations, including getting vaccinated, as it greatly reduces risk of viral infection and transmission in fully vaccinated individuals. We look forward to once again experiencing the incredible atmosphere our fans provide at training camp, games and events.”