Lambeau Field

Security Perimeter Protects the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field

Green Bay, Wisconsin


Lambeau Field, home to the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers, is one of the most historic stadiums in all of professional sports and regarded as a bucket list destination for fans everywhere.

But while the facility is a national treasure among sports stadiums, it wasn’t always physically protected in the way it is today.

Years ago, authorities required the first rows of parked cars to be canine-cleared, ticketed and forced to remain in place until the close of each game to form a safe buffer zone around its perimeter. Back then, issues like how to dispose of tailgaters’ hot charcoals were top of mind. And it just so happens that the company behind what are now simply known to tailgaters as "hot coal cans,” is also responsible for completely transforming what might have been considered an "old-fashioned” approach to stadium security. That company? Wausau Tile.

Fast forward to more recent times, when security considerations have taken center stage at venues around the world. In response to new, league-mandated requirements for fan and stadium protection, Lambeau Field’s Director of Facility Operations, Ted Eisenreich, got back in touch with Wausau Tile. By 2015, Lambeau would become one of the first professional sports stadiums to receive Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act certification from the Department of Homeland Security.

"We knew we were looking for barriers, but we didn’t want it to look like a fort. We have this great, beautiful stadium; we don’t want concrete walls all around it,” said Eisenreich.

The facilities at Lambeau posed a unique challenge, too, with the stadium located in the middle of a neighborhood and not insulated by the sort of infrastructure that’s common in other professional sports markets.

Lambeau’s Corporate Security Director, Doug Collins, had seen a security perimeter during a road game versus the Tennessee Titans that piqued his interest, striking just the right balance between form and function. He asked around to determine who was behind that series of concrete security planters that caught his eye: tough but elegant, team-branded and planted with seasonal greenery. They were made by Wausau Tile.

The new request for the team at Wausau Tile would be threefold:

  1. Propose a security perimeter that was aesthetically pleasing
  2. Accommodate the organization’s very different game day and non-game day security and accessibility needs
  3. Seamlessly complement the stadium’s beloved old structures

In response, Wausau Tile proposed a perimeter comprised of concrete, steel-reinforced bollards; pillars with decorative custom concrete bases, mid-bands and caps, each designed to match Lambeau’s existing brick and limestone and include electrical conduits for street lamps; concrete benches and planter walls emblazoned with the Packers’ signature "G” stamp; and a series of movable concrete planters that would allow the Lambeau grounds crew to enable or restrict access anywhere on the grounds on any given day.

For the team at Lambeau, the decision to move forward with the new system was a no-brainer.

"The most rewarding part of my job now is seeing the fans and players being able to come in and not have to worry about security,” said Collins. "They don’t think about it. They don’t think that those pretty planters right outside our facility are really a part of physical security barrier that our team is relying on in a different sense.”

At the time of completion, Lambeau Field was one of two NFL stadiums to receive SAFETY Act certification, an arduous process that requires not only the careful examination of all security barriers, processes and protocols, but also the passing of random, undercover tests of those barriers, processes and protocols. SAFETY Act certification is now required of all Super Bowl host stadiums, and Lambeau remains the only non-Super Bowl site to have obtained certification.

"Our goal is to create a safe and clean environment for our guests that’s always in tip-top condition, and an experience that delivers that ‘wow’ factor – everything you’d expect plus more,” said Eisenreich.

Everything you’d expect plus more. It’s a theme that’s held true as Wausau Tile's role inside and outside the Lambeau Field facility has grown to span nearly its entire product portfolio, and a familiar refrain for the Wausau Tile's team, says sales representative Jeff Gramling.

"People are usually familiar with one aspect of what we do, but they have no idea of all the different products that we can provide for a project,” said Gramling. "Having architectural pavers, custom precast concrete, site furnishings, terrazzo tile and precast terrazzo – we’re working on the inside of the building, the outside of the building and the top of a building. We can pretty much cover it all.”

And so it comes as no coincidence that the "G” stamp adorning so many of Wausau Tile’s products at Lambeau actually stands for Greatness (a little-known fact to all but the most diehard Packers fans).