Want history help? Try a trolley!
The Green Bay Packers Heritage Trail is an outstanding resource, but it can be a bit daunting to follow for the out-of-town visitor who isn’t familiar with downtown Green Bay, anyone who isn’t comfortable reading a map or someone who would just like someone else to take care of the navigating duties.
An excellent option for anyone who meets any of those conditions is the Packers Heritage Trail Trolley Tours. A trolley-styled bus leased from Lamers with a Lamers’ driver traverses the trail, carrying up to 29 passengers, ‘visiting more than 22 stops while learning about the love affair that developed between a football team and its hometown,’ according to a Trolley Tours release.
“It‘s a way to show Packers fans that our relationship with football runs so deep,” Tour owner Sue Broberg said. “Most people from out-of-town know about Lambeau Field and the Hall of Fame, but we take them a whole other side of town.”
Broberg loves the tours as “a great way to connect with Packer fans.”
She noted a recent tour group that involved the family of a young fan who loved Brett Favre but passed away unexpectedly in her mid-20s. The family traveled to the Favre Hall of Fame induction, and added the Trolley Tour to their itinerary.
“They had T-shirts they made up in her honor, and 13 members of her family came,” Broberg said. “Just the fact that they spent part of their time with me, I was pretty honored.”
How did the tour come about in the first place?
“When (Packers official historian and long-time newspaper man) Cliff Christl created the Packers Heritage Trail, I told him I wanted to connect the dots for people,” Broberg said. “It’s also because I like to do things for senior citizens that have mobility issues, but want to tour it. This is their Aaron Rodgers, their Brett Favre.
“Some of these stops are a little off the beaten path, and I want to show them the tie between them and their community. My goal is to even teach people from the area some of the history of the Packers.”
Tickets are sold and the tours start at the Resch Center, across from the Hutson Center and Ray Nitschke Field where training camp practices are held. “We try to schedule them an hour to an hour-and-a-half after practice ends. It fluctuates based on when Coach (Mike) McCarthy ends practice. We don’t want to compete with that.”
Once training camp is closed and the season starts, the Trolley Tours take place on home-game weekends, on Saturdays when the Packers play on Sunday and on Sundays when Green Bay plays on Monday nights. Tickets are $25 for a 90-minute tour, running from training camp through November.
“The Saturday tours are usually at 10 a.m. and noon, 10 a.m. for sure.” Broberg noted. “It’s a nice trolley, and climate-controlled because we like to run tours as long as we can into winter. It has a nice sound system and nice comfy seats.”
Broberg feels the tour only works for a community-owned team with such a storied history.
“Some teams have no roots,” Broberg said. “The teams are revenue generators. It’s not like that here.
“Only in Green Bay can you say you’re going down Lombardi Avenue to Mike Holmgren Way to Brett Favre Pass to the Brett Favre Steakhouse. It sounds crazy, but that’s what we do.”