Green Bay Packers

The Insanity of the Packers' Season Ticket Waitlist

Photo credit: Rick Wood (USA TODAY Sports)

The best birthday present I ever received was when I was 12. My grandma’s gift to me that year was putting me on the Green Bay Packers’ season ticket waitlist. At 12, I thought I was robbed. I wasn’t.

That was almost 25 years ago now, and the waiting list was only around 45,000 or so. The Packers have had a waiting list for season tickets since 1960. My grandma has had season tickets forever. Grandpa was smart and got season tickets when the team wasn’t very good, and the tickets were super cheap. Since then, my parents and the other five kids my grandparents had split the home games.

It usually works out. Six kids and six home games for season ticket holders. Two home games and one preseason game usually go to the Milwaukee, or “Gold,” package holders. This is because the team used to play in Milwaukee at County Stadium until 1994.

Current Waitlist Number

I wait every single year for my postcard with my new number. Sometimes it’s exciting; sometimes it’s disappointing. I was lucky that Grandma put my name in when I was young. Even waiting a few more years would have placed me a lot higher. A quarter-century ago was right around the Brett Favre era, and the team was finally doing well again.

According to a report in 2019, there were about 137,000 names now on the waitlist. And with as few as only 750 tickets changing hands some years, you can join the waitlist the day you are born and still not have a chance if you live to be 100.

2021 Season Ticket Prices

Ticket prices weren’t expected to go up this year until the 17th game was added. Prices for package holders went up around $50 per ticket this year. Season ticket holders should expect to pay around $750 to $1,000 per seat in 2021. Even though the prices will be going up, it appears the Gold package tickets holders will get the extra game.

Even with a hike in prices almost every year, the waitlist continues to grow. On average, fewer than 1,000 seats change hands. That’s because Packers fans can transfer their season tickets.

Tickets can be transferred upon death to a surviving spouse, child, or blood relative, and business-related tickets can be transferred to. So unless a season ticket holder fills out a form to give up their tickets, doesn’t pay, or the people they transfer them to decline, they don’t go back into the general seating pool.

For example, between 2018 and 2019, 99.4% of season ticket holders renewed.

Current Status

You might wonder how close I am to getting season tickets after 25 years on the queue. I did say it’s about 1,000 per year. It helped that Lambeau Field added 7,000 additional seats back in 2013. That was a huge leap forward.

I also held out some hope I would skip ahead when the outrage cycle on the news about the National Anthem happened — twice. I was there the night the Packers linked arms instead of putting their hands over their hearts. It was a toxic environment: fans yelling at players, using slurs, and other bad behavior. They weren’t even kneeling. It’s a moment in time I, as a Packers fan, hope to forget.

There were also people who have claimed over the last four or so years that they are boycotting the NFL due to the players being “too political” or because the league has embraced the LGBTQ community and players who have come out.

That appeared to be all talk. The numbers are still moving at a snail’s pace.

So my current waitlist number is:

Just around 11,500. That means, on average, I have 11 to 15 years until I see season tickets. There is a chance they might add seats again soon, or prices might rise too much for some people again. But that is highly doubtful.

I will probably be 50 years old — or older — when I first get a chance at season tickets. As long as that wait is, I am one of the lucky ones. Some will never have their name called. My kids will probably appreciate their great-grandma, too, when their dad gets season tickets as they reach adulthood.

Brown County Lottery

One thing that is also keeping the waitlist a little longer is the Brown County Lottery. If you live in Brown County, all you have to do is go to Lambeau Field and sign up. You fill out a form, and every year, you have a chance to get four tickets to a game.

But it truly is a lottery. Sometimes you don’t get picked. Other times you get a pre-season game. And then sometimes, you get lucky like me and get a pre-season game in 2020 just before COVID hits. Then you are still guaranteed a regular-season game, and when it’s randomly picked, it turns out to be the day of your birthday — crazy stuff.

You can register for the Brown County Lottery here. You can join the huge waitlist here.

And here’s to 11,448. How many more years do you think I will have to wait?

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