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'It's definitely been a challenging year': Lambeau Field still suffering from staffing shortages

Fox River Market at Lambeau Field
Fans grabbing food at Fox River Market at Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field Atrium
Posted at 5:22 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 15:38:22-04

ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — In a matter of days, Lambeau Field will be filled with fans for the Packers' home opener. But ahead of that, officials are asking spectators to be cautious and courteous to employees, as staffing shortages still plague the stadium.

Heath Barbato, General Manager for Delaware North Sportservice at Lambeau, said while finding employees has gotten easier, concessions alone is still down at least 100 people.

“It's been trending up every week, you know, but it's it's still a challenge," said Barbato. "I saw 30% of hospitality workers aren't sure if they're gonna come back to this business. So, you know, it's sort of a scary time for our industry."

This is despite the job fairs and community outreach the Packers have been promoting.

“The preseason was a little challenging," said Barbato. "Longer lines than what a lot of Packer fans were used to, but, you know, bear with us, we're getting stuff back on what our numbers look like this year as compared to previous years."

Aaron Popkey, the team's director of public affairs, is asking fans to have patience, and said what they're dealing with is not unlike what a lot of other businesses around the nation are facing.

"Overall, we strive to have the very best experience for all you guys.. and we are known for that," said Popkey. "I think everyone in sports and hospitality is going through some of those challenges right now.”

But, less cashiers at concessions stands means it could be harder for fans to get a brat and a beer. Thankfully, compared to preseason, Barbato said less stands will be closed. New "stands" include Fox River Market, which acts as a grab and go station with self-checkout, so spectators don't have to wait in line for nearly as long.

Lambeau is always looking for volunteers and there are opportunities to sign up. Head to Green Bay Sportservice on Delaware North's website to find more information.