Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson addresses
shareholders from the stage during the NFL football team's
annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field, Thursday, July
24 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list
for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that
figures to be an NFC contender for years to come.
Under a bright
blue sky, Green Bay team brass gave shareholders a rosy forecast
Thursday for the future of the NFL's only publicly-owned
About the only
thing missing from this green-and-gold picture was former star
Brett Favre swaggering on to the Lambeau Field turf to toss around
a football with current franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Soon enough, that
might just happen, too.
Mark Murphy reiterated that he is hoping Favre returns to Lambeau
Field for a game this year, though not to retire his No. 4 jersey
hope is coming back from (2016) he'll be a first-ballot
inductee" to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Murphy told
reporters after addressing the more than 14,700 fans attending the
annual shareholders meeting. "Prior to that we'd want to
induct him into our hall and then also retire his number."
this image taken with a fish-eye lens, Green Bay Packers
shareholders listen as president Mark Murphy addresses them
from the stage inside Lambeau Field during the NFL football
team's annual shareholders meeting Thursday, July 24 2014m
in Green Bay, Wis.
Favre had a
public falling out with the team's front office in 2008 in the
middle of a "will-he-or-won't-he-retire saga. The Packers
traded him to the New York Jets, and he later played two more
seasons for the rival Minnesota Vikings.
The sides have
made efforts to mend the relationship with Favre firmly in
retirement. Murphy for years has said he hopes to retire Favre's
jersey, and a possible reunion is usually a popular offseason
topic in Packers country.
The prospect of
returning to Lambeau arose again when Favre told ESPN radio in
Chicago on Monday that he wasn't concerned about being booed at
Lambeau, following a separate report to the contrary.
hopeful that when he does come back that he will be fully, fully
supported by our fans. I'm confident in that," Murphy said.
"In terms of when he would come back, we've had ongoing
discussions with him, very good relations. We are talking about
bringing him back for a game this year."
dressed in business attire offered boardroom-like reports
complete with slideshow presentations displayed on the stadium's
two giant video boards to shareholders dressed in Packers
gear. One man wore a yellow foam cheesehead with "NFL
Owner" etched on the side in green.
The Packers have
more than 360,000 shareholders, and a lot of them figure to be in
town this weekend. Players report to training camp Friday and the
first practice is Saturday.
predict at this event," general manager Ted Thompson said in
giving his department report, "but we do expect to win."
The team has
reported that its revenue rose 5 percent to a record $324 million,
though net income is down to $25 million because of an expected
spike in player costs, including salaries. The Packers re-signed
Rodgers and star linebacker Clay Matthews in 2013.
The team expects
player costs to decline next season given the normal ebbs and
flows of contract cycles. Regardless, there appears little to
worry about financially: John Meng, of the board's investment
committee, reported corporate reserves of about $271 million in
2014, up roughly $90 million from 2010.
Only the Packers
and Patriots have made the NFL playoffs each of the last five
years. Last year's stadium project increased Lambeau's seating
capacity to about 80,700 second largest in the league behind
MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, yet, the Packers still have a long
waiting list for season tickets despite playing in the league's
shareholders that he expected the Packers to play a game in the
next few years in London, where the league plans to play more
"But it will
be an away game" on the schedule, Murphy said. "We will
never take (away) a home game."
The team is also
looking to install a variable pricing ticket system next year.
Murphy said about 10 other teams in the league this season are
using such a system, which would create tiers of ticket prices
based on the attractiveness of the matchup.
The Packers try
to keep their ticket prices around the league average. The team
said this year they are 17th in the league, at about $80.