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Hospitality industry stands to lose millions with no fans for preseason activities

The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau says training camp and family night have about a $9-10 million impact on the area.
The tourism economy stands to lose millions after Packers announce no fans for preseason activities.
The tourism economy stands to lose millions after Packers announce no fans for preseason activities.(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -The tourism industry in Wisconsin has already lost more than a billion dollars due the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

Now, hospitality businesses stand to lose even more after the Packers announced Wednesday fans will not be part of the preseason activities.

“By now, we usually are fully booked throughout the whole season,” said Erin Peterson, who owns “The North End Zone” rental unit next to Lambeau field. “Even for Family Night, even for practice games, we’ve had people schedule those for two weeks at times.”

Peterson says it's been a struggle to get people to commit.

“When it comes to getting tickets, what do they do? Is it just going to be for the season ticket holders? People are having a hard time figuring that out, so they’re not scheduling with us right now,” said Peterson.

The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau says training camp and family night have about a $9-10 million impact on the area.

“Preseason games are about a $15 million economic impact and of course those are all based on fans and the spending fans do in our community,” said Brad Toll, president of the visitors bureau.

Toll says the tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and many businesses rely on game days to get through less lucrative months.

“We’re not normally a magnet for tourism in January and February, but the fall season is so good we’re able to make it past those months, so it’s very important to the tourism industry.”

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