GREEN BAY – Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy did not guarantee an NFL draft for Green Bay at Monday’s annual shareholders meeting, but he tiptoed right up to the line.
He said Green Bay likely will host the draft in 2025 or 2027.
“We will be given strong consideration,” Murphy said at his post-meeting press conference. It was not a guarantee, but he said he was confident. “We’ve been close on the other ones, too.”
Green Bay has been angling to host the draft for several years. It could bring hundreds of thousands of football fans to northeastern Wisconsin. The organization had high hopes for 2024, but the NFL chose Detroit. The Packers will not try for the draft in 2026 because it is scheduled to host a University of Wisconsin-Notre Dame football game that year.
Otherwise, the meeting was a pretty standard affair, which is a return to normal after two COVID-affected years. General Manager Brian Gutekunst went over the team’s roster and recounted highlights of last year, and Murphy had a few things to say about the football side of the operation before working through a list of community interactions and construction projects.
“I do want to give special mention to Davante Adams. He is as fine a person as you’ll ever see in the game,” Murphy said.
Adams, one of the Packers all-time best receivers, was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders during the off-season at his request.
The mention of Adams received applause and cheers from the 8,642 shareholders and guests in attendance. The turnout was a return to more traditional numbers after being down last year to less than 4,000, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was held virtually in 2020.
The Packers added 177,000 shareholders during a stock sale earlier this year, which may have increased attendance, as did a desire of people to act more normally, even though the pandemic is not over.
It also did not hurt that Monday was an unusually nice day for the shareholders’ meeting. The temperature was in the high 70s with low humidity and a cool breeze, as opposed to the often sweltering conditions common this time of year.
The stock sale netted the Packers $55.3 million, which will be used to install new video scoreboards for 2023 and continued renovation of concession stands. The new scoreboards will be quite a bit wider than the current boards.
Of course, the crowd also applauded a comment by Murphy about improving signs around Lambeau Field giving fans useful information.
“You’re a very easy crowd. You cheer for wayfinding signs,” Murphy said.
Man City-Bayern match provided ‘outstanding’ publicity
The exhibition soccer match Saturday between Bayern Munich and Manchester City, two of the top teams in the world, was successful, despite several rain delays, Murphy said.
“The players loved the atmosphere and they loved the playing surface,” Murphy said.”(Fans) just had continuous smiles on their faces despite the weather. The publicity internationally for Green Bay and Lambeau Field was outstanding.”
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The Packers reported attendance of 78,128, slightly more than the Packers’ average of 77,991 for last year’s regular season home games.
Of a social media video showing running back AJ Dillion’s interaction with a Green Bay police officer during the match, Murphy said both sides were chalking it up to miscommunication.
Dillion went onto the field during a rain delay to do a Lambeau Leap for the fans, but the officer did not recognize him and Dillon didn’t have the proper credentials to be on the field.
The police department said Monday it appreciated Dillion’s comments on the matter and that its Professional Standards/Internal Affairs Division initiated a review of this incident.
“Just miscommunication between parties, the @GBPolice are great people and I’m glad we have them down there for our games to keep us safe. Standing there in the pouring rain with all those people it’s hard to know what’s going on with just one . All good,” Dillion Tweeted after the event.
Packers report record revenue for past year
The team reported a record $579 million in revenue for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which concluded at the end of March. It reported profit from operations of $77.7 million, also a record, and net income of $61.6 million.
The team reported national revenue, which is shared equally among all 32 NFL teams, of $347.2 million, and local revenue of $231.7 million.
The team said the Packers Pro Shop had its best year, although it did not provide sales figures.
Total expenses for the year were $501.3 million, including player costs of $280.8 million.
The Packers invested $468 million in its operations during the past 11 years, not including Titletown.
Murphy said the Packers business interests, including the Titletown district, were performing well. He said the Titletown Flats apartment building was nearly two-thirds full and the US Venture Center office building was 80% occupied.
The Packers are partners in Titletown Tech business innovation and development center with Microsoft.
“Some of the companies we’ve invested in could have the biggest impact of anything we’ve done,” he said.
The Green Bay Packers Foundation had a value of $46.8 million. Its statewide community grant program distributed $1 million to organizations in 47 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. The focus last year was on arts & culture, athletics and education.
The foundation distributed $18 million since its formation in 1996.
Shareholders elected four new directors: Kate Burgess, CEO/owner of Elevate97 of Green Bay; Michael Daniels, president and CEO of Nicolet National Bank of Green Bay; Mark Rourke, CEO and president of Schneider National Inc. of Ashwaubenon; and Kurt Voss, owner and CEO of AmeriLux International of De Pere.
Directors moving to emeritus status are Rick Chernick, who joined the board in 1998; Larry McCarren, who joined in 2015; and Eric Torkelson, who was elected in 2019. All reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Contact Richard Ryman at (920) 431-8342 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RichRymanPG, on Instagram at @rrymanPG or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardRymanPG/.