I really don’t know. I do know the Packers organization have done some upgrades over the last few decades so the capacity has increased incrementally so a curious man wonders, what’s the official capacity at this legendary stadium?
Let me peel the onion and see if I can answer this.
According to Wikipedia, Lambeau Field capacity is 81,441. Good news (if facts are important to you), and according to Packers.com, it lists the same capacity so we two online sources with the same attendance.
Moving on, according to one ESPN website, http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/stadium/_/name/gb/green-bay-packers, they list Lambeau at 80,750. I’ll give them a mulligan as they are within 1,000 seats. (The article goes on to say the stadium is quite intimate and can hold nearly 80,000 fans. Wait, if the Packers meet their capacity on a given Sunday, Monday or Thursday, doesn’t that mean the intimate stadium would exceed 80,000 spectators. Question for espn.com, where are you editors?)
I checked a few more sources, including http://sportssvideo.org and the Greenbaypressgazette.com and they include the capacity at 80,750 and 81,435 respectively. Again, within the ballpark (or should I say field) so not enough to quibble over. However, we now have 5 sources of information with a 3 different amounts.
The day after the Bears-Packers game on Thursday night (9/28/17), according to another ESPN website http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400951678, provided the attendance at 78,362, and listed the capacity at 72,928. That made me pause, how can one ESPN site list the capacity at 72,928 and another at 80,750? Facts can be sticky things, even at ESPN so I wonder, which website is not correct? Or is neither correct?
I wanted to bright one more element into the conversation. About 20 years ago, the NFL changed how attendance was announced. It was originally turnstile clicks to determine the attendance. Today, if you ever review the box score after a game, the attendance is the amount of tickets sold. Which means it’s impossible for football fans to know the actual amount of spectators that attend a given game. That’s an entirely different topic which I won’t get into today. The only other thing I’ll say is if a fan actually walks through the turnstile, they can empirically look around for empty seats in various sections to get an idea of the actual amount of fans, but can’t get an exact number.
Assuming Wikipedia and Packers.com are correct, if the capacity at Lambeau field is 81,441 and the attendance for the Bears-Packers game was 78,362 (according to ESPN), why aren’t more fans attending? As many NFL and Packer fans know, if you’re on the wait list for Packer tickets, it could be 30 years before you get access to tickets. And if there’s so much demand for tickets, why are the Packers 3,000 fans short of reaching capacity?
Again, something is not right with this picture. Even though there’s an incredible demand for Packer tickets, I don’t expect the Packers to sell every ticket. Perhaps accuse my contrarian approach, but to have a 3,000 ticket disparity. What’s going on here?
So again I ask, what’s the capacity at Lambeau Field? If indeed it’s 81,441 and the attendance is roughly 78,000 a game (again the number of tickets sold and not turnstile clicks), then perhaps the Packers have too much ticket supply and to a certain extent, one might say it’s a buyer’s market.