GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have opened a development around their stadium as a way of attracting fans year-round.
The Titletown District development outside Lambeau Field includes a hotel, sports medicine clinic, ice skating rink, restaurant and tubing hill.
The nearly 45-acre district is holding a Winter Jubilee throughout December that includes ice sculptors, Santa and a light show. Most of the activities at the district are free, though there is a fee for skating and tubing.
"To me, the most unique part is the skating pond and tubing area," said Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy. Few developers would be willing to use a quarter of their property for a community park, he said.
The team will contribute at least $65 million to the estimated $165 million project, Murphy said.
"We're a community-owned team and for us giving back to the community is important," Murphy said. "The other aspect of this is to ensure the Packers stay in Green Bay and to remain competitive here, having a strong economic base here is crucial to that."
The project will also include an economic development partnership with Microsoft. It create a technology and innovation center that will act as an accelerator and incubator for emerging businesses, have a venture capital fund and an innovation lab where companies can get technological assistance from Microsoft.
"Both Microsoft and the Packers have pledged to put $5 million into 'Titletown Tech,'" Murphy said.
Titletown Tech is expected to open next fall.