Veteran singer ready for Taylor Swift, cold temps; other things to know about Chiefs game

GREEN BAY — Taylor Swift might or might not be at Lambeau Field on Sunday, but Ben Tajnai will certainly be there.

Tajnai, who's sung the national anthem for the Packers, Brewers and Bucks, will take care of Sunday night's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." When you've (possibly) got the most famous singer in the world in the house, you want the anthem to come off smoothly.

The Packers host the Kansas City Chiefs in the "Sunday Night Football" encounter. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is boyfriend to Swift. Whether she will attend the game is not confirmed, but she's done so whenever her schedule allowed, and she recently wrapped up the South American segment of her The Eras Tour and isn't schedule to go back on the road until February.

Singing in front of celebrities is not new to Tajnai. He even met Swift once, but she's on a whole different level now. "The butterflies are very high," he said. "I've been thinking about that ever since they asked me to do that game."

Taylor Swift, center, attended Kansas City's NFL game against the Bears with Travis Kelce?s mother, Donna Kelce, at lower left, on Sept. 24 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Taylor Swift, center, attended Kansas City's NFL game against the Bears with Travis Kelce?s mother, Donna Kelce, at lower left, on Sept. 24 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tajnai, who lives in southern Wisconsin, met Swift in 2013, when he was just out of college, singing backup for the Rolling Stones in Chicago.

"She was like the nicest human being ever. She was so sweet, when she really didn't need to be nice to me at all. She totally gave me the time of day," he said. "I'm a fan of her because of that."

Tajnai's first professional sports performance was for the Milwaukee Bucks, where he graduated to doing the anthem for playoff finals games. This will be his fifth appearance at Lambeau since 2021.

Tajnai is a Packers fan from birth, so singing at Lambeau was a dream come true. Before the first time there, he paced the floor. "I really wanted that to be my best anthem ever."

Singing at Lambeau is surreal, he said.

Ben Tajnai, sings the national anthem before a Milwaukee Bucks game.
Ben Tajnai, sings the national anthem before a Milwaukee Bucks game.

"There's really no way to prepare for 80,000 people screaming at you. Adrenaline was, always is, so incredibly high. These are people who live and breath green and gold, just like I do. It feels like I'm at home with 80,000 of my closest friends," he said.

And there are plenty of challenges to singing outdoors.

His second appearance at Lambeau was a "Sunday Night Football" game against the Minnesota Vikings in 2022.

"It was like the coldest game in the past 10 years," he said. "I think I'm built for that. I'm a bigger guy. I'm a true Wisconsinite. I really thrive in it."

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Tajnai promises if he runs into Swift before the anthem Sunday, he'll ask her to sing with him. He rates the odds low, but "I'd at least have to try."


Tajnai's experience singing in cold weather will come in handy Sunday. The weather forecast is for a chance of showers during the day and mostly cloudy with a low of 31 Sunday night.

Parking prices range from $15 to $60

Parking in the Lambeau Field lots is $50 this season, a $10 increase from last year. That mostly affects season ticket holders because few spaces remain for non-season ticket holders.

Parking in surrounding yards and business lots ranges from $15 to $60, depending on proximity to the stadium. The $15 lots can be about a half-mile from Lambeau.

While Packers' operations are cashless, including everything in Lambeau Field, yard and business-lot parking often requires cash.

Lambeau Field parking lots open four hours before game time, which for Sunday's game will be 8 a.m.

Green Bay Metro provides free shuttle service

Green Bay Metro offers four free shuttle routes, with buses leaving to and from Lambeau on the half-hour from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and again from the end of the game until 11:30 p.m. Routes to Lambeau Field run from Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport, downtown Green Bay, the far east side and points in between.

Lambeau Field is 4.4 miles from the airport and 3.4 miles from downtown Green Bay.

Tailgating allowed in Lambeau parking lots

Tailgating is allowed anywhere in the Lambeau Field parking lots, and in a number of private lots surrounding the stadium. The center of the tailgating universe at Lambeau Field is in Lot 1 on the east side of the stadium, near the Oneida Nation Gate.

Lambeau Field ranked as the best place to watch football

USA Today ranked Lambeau Field as the best stadium in the NFL.

"Lambeau Field remains every bit the old school experience you want it to be, rising from the suburban grid of Green Bay to welcome NFL pilgrims to its hallowed grounds. Between the history of the Hall of Fame and the frigid aluminum bench seats that freeze your Leinenkugel’s in the can each December, it’s perfect roughneck football. Go Pack Go," wrote reporter Christian D’Andrea.

Leave cash at home for Packers games

Lambeau Field is cashless. Everywhere.

Restaurants, ticket office, Hall of Fame, concession stands, seat rentals and parking lots — if the Packers run it, credit cards and digital pay are the only options.

As previously mentioned, there is no available last-minute stadium parking, but if there was, that would be cashless, too. However, if you are parking in the yards or lots not operated by the Packers, your cash will be accepted and, in most cases, required.

More: Country artist Stephen Ray talks about his famous dad (Steve Mariucci), growing up in Green Bay and singing the national anthem at Lambeau

How to watch or listen to the game

On television, the game will be broadcast on NBC, with Mike Tirico doing play-by-play and Cris Collinsworth providing analysis.

Fans can listen to the game on the Packers radio network, whose flagship station is WRNW-FM, 97.3, in Milwaukee. In Green Bay, WIXX-FM, 101.1, carries the game. Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren call the game.

What's the Lambeau Field carry-in policy?

The Packers' carry-in policy limits items that can be brought into the stadium and how they can be carried.

On the no-go list are bags, backpacks, coolers, strollers, umbrellas, duffel bags, large purses, noisemakers of any kind, fanny packs, food and beverages, selfie sticks, video cameras and still photo cameras with lenses over 12 inches.

What is allowed are clear bags not exceeding 12-by-6-by-12 inches or a 1-gallon, clear plastic bag, additional clothing, blankets, small clutch purses the size of a woman's hand, small cameras, binoculars and cellphones if carried loosely or in an approved clear bag.

The Green Bay Police Department offered this information: "Officers are continually turning away prohibited bags and items at the gate that will slow the lines down and cause fans to return (items) to their vehicles or discard the prohibited items."

More: Performing the national anthem at Lambeau Field is 90 seconds of nerves, an adrenaline rush and a dream gig all at once


Green Bay is the smallest market in the NFL, with a metro area population of 321,591, compared to Kansas City's 2.1 million.

Contact Richard Ryman at Follow him on Twitter at @RichRymanPG, on Instagram at @rrymanPG or on Facebook at

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Anthem singer Ben Tajnai big fans of Packers and Taylor Swift