Lambeau Field, the home stadium of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin, is the scene of giant tailgating parties throughout the fall and winter football season. The team lays down certain rules and guidelines to ensure the safety and good behavior of fans outside the stadium.
Formed in 1919 by members of the Green Bay Press-Gazette newspaper; the football franchise is one of the most storied in team sports. The City Stadium, built in 1957, was renamed Lambeau Field in honor of the team's first head coach, E.L. "Curly" Lambeau. Initially called City Stadium, the home field of the Packers was renamed on September 11 1965, following the death of Lambeau on June 1 of the same year.
Tailgating at Lambeau Field is almost as important as the game itself. The parking lot at the stadium opens four hours before the game begins, allowing tailgaters the opportunity to prepare for the game with other fans. Parking is limited for those attending single games. A few parking spaces are held back for those without season tickets. If attending the game without a parking pass you must aim to be at the stadium in time for parking lot gates to open four hours before kickoff. The majority of the parking lot is sold out to season ticket holders with parking passes. To ensure all those wishing to enter the parking lot have a parking space one parking space is allowed per vehicle. Tailgating equipment, such as grills, must be positioned to allow for easy movement of vehicles and pedestrians around the parking lot.
Temperatures dip in Wisconsin as the fall turns to winter, and the football season progresses. Grilling food is a popular activity before all games. Lambeau Field rules allow the use of charcoal and L.P. gas grills, but not the use of wood as a fuel. Grills must be operated in the parking lot by adults over 18 years of age, and must be fully extinguished before fans leave the parking lot for their seats in the stadium.
Throughout the Lambeau Field parking lot portable toilets are located for the use of tailgating fans. Stadium restrooms are opened when the parking lot gates open four hours before the game, and are closed to those in the parking lot one hour before the game. For those wishing to attend an organized tailgating party without tickets for the game, the Packers have created a tailgating zone. Situated in the east parking lot, food and drinks are available in the Tundra Tailgating Zone. Team organized tailgating activities begin with the opening of the parking lot gates, those without tickets are able to watch the game in the Tailgating Zone and remain for an hour after kickoff for evening games. During the season, the Tailgating Zone remains open until 7 p.m. Wisconsin law requires Lambeau Field, and its facilities to be non-smoking areas.
Paul Cartmell tailgates at Green Bay Packers games whenever possible since his first trip to Lambeau Field in 1992.