GREEN BAY, Wis. - It was a strange home opener for the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 20, with no fans in the stands at Lambeau Field, and no tailgating in the parking lot due to the coronavirus pandemic. FOX6's Bill Miston noted in the 10 years he's covered the green and gold, this was a home opener to remember.
Normally, on a Packers Sunday, there are thousands of people packing the Stadium District, in addition to the 80,000 that would be inside the stadium. On this Sunday -- a fraction of that, with the parking lots surrounding Lambeau Field empty, and the streets in the Stadium District eerily quiet considering it was a home opener in Green Bay on a beautiful September day.
A couple of the Stadium District bars, though, filled with people to watch the game.
Also, handfuls of tailgaters posted up in some lots a little farther away from the stadium.
That said, fans said there was no way around it. This home opener was a weird one and offered a way to impart some normalcy on an already abnormal -- and tragic year -- because of COVID-19.
"Everyone just wants to feel the normalcy, and this really, even though there isn't a lot of people out here, at least we're doing what we love, and it does make it feel somewhat normal, and we're still being safe," said Jamie Diem of Appleton.
"It was shocking today when I came here," said Spencer Cline of Mason City, Iowa. "I was like, 'Okay.' I got here early, like 5:30 in the morning. There wasn't anybody here then, but then, it just kind of went on, and was expecting more people to show up, even if you can do things safely and still have fun."
"We've been doing this for 20 years, where we come set up for every home game -- and not the norm," said Lori Hill, who sells Packers merchandise. "Normally, this parking lot would have been packed by now, and obviously, things are a little bit different."