GREEN BAY PACKERS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT
(P1) The Green Bay Packers are a moneymaking machine.
(P2) Over the past four FISCAL YEARS, the Packers have cleared a net income of $140.3 million.
(P3) But as team president Mark Murphy explained Thursday at a news conference to announce their plans for the new Titletown District development, they need to keep finding new streams of REVENUE to GUARANTEE their survival in the National Football League.
(P4) Their dream of building an entertainment district, the CENTERPIECE of their increased revenue plan, finally TOOK OFF with commitments from three businesses that will ANCHOR the development: an upscale Lodge Kohler hotel, operated by Kohler Co.; a Hinterland restaurant and craft brewery; and a sports medicine clinic owned by Green Bay-based Bellin Health Care Systems.
(P5) Those buildings would occupy eight of the 34 acres that make up the Titletown development, and all three are expected to be UP AND RUNNING before the 2017 Packers season. The total investment, including the $65 million the Packers are contributing, is $120 million to $130 million.
(P6) “This is an exciting day for the Packers,” Murphy said. “We’ve been working on this for seven years, and now we get to formally announce our plan and vision.”
(P7) In addition to the three commercial businesses, the Packers will build a 10-acre public plaza that will include a skating rink, a 100-yard FieldTurf football field, a giant REPLICA of Bart Starr’s Super Bowl I ring, and various GREEN SPACES where people can gather during both the season and off-season.
(P8) The Packers are investing $65 million on land acquisition, utility work, and plaza construction and, according to Murphy, won’t see a payback until after the anchor tenants have completed construction. But the investment is expected to BOOST the team’s revenue and allow it to build on its reserve fund of $280 million.
(P9) There is much more commercial space to be developed. Part of the plan includes residential development, which Murphy said has not been sold yet.
(P10) The Packers will draw income from renting their properties, but Murphy also thinks the development will help their year-round business as well as SPUR development around Green Bay.
(P11) “So bringing those people over here, it allows us to GENERATE non-football revenue that isn’t shared with other teams,” Murphy said. “And I think long-term, it benefits the Packers because the more VIBRANT the community is, the stronger the community is, and the more likely that in the future we’ll be able to continue to support a competitive NFL team. We want to make sure the community stays strong.”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- The Green Bay Packers are one of the most famous American football teams. Are you familiar with American football, or do you prefer soccer and other sports?
- Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a population of only 100,000, is BY FAR the smallest city in the United States with a professional major league sports team. As a result, everything in Green Bay revolves around football. Is that kind of OBSESSION with sports healthy, in your opinion?
- Do you often attend professional sports events, or do you think it is too expensive?
- The article shows how sports teams are now marketing other kinds of entertainment. Are sports themselves just a type of entertainment, or are they special in some ways?
- The president of the Packers organization talks about teams and communities mutually benefiting each other. Do you think that is true?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Fiscal year
- Take off
- Up and running
- Green space
- By far