Green Bay – OTAs are over. Mini-camp is in the books.
Next up for the Green Bay Packers is training camp, which the team announced this week begins on Thursday, July 26th.
Ahhhhh. Training camp.
It's a tradition in Green Bay, where since the early 1960s under legendary head coach Vince Lombardi, some players ride kids' bicycles to and from practice.
Where players sleep and eat and bond on the St. Norbert College campus in nearby De Pere.
Where fans from around the state, the Midwest, and the nation return each summer to watch players vie for positions on one of the most talent-laden rosters in the National Football League.
While two-a-day practices are a thing of the past—thanks to last season's revised collective bargaining agreement—there is plenty of options for fans to take in before or after practice.
The Packers Hall of Fame, a tour of Lambeau Field, shopping in the Pro Shop, or an array of nearby dining options are popular choices.
While fans are on their leisure time, the serious quest for employment in the NFL is the reality of training camp. And make now mistake: the money fans spend in the Green Bay area translates into serious business dollars in July and August for local hotels, restaurants, and attractions such as Bay Beach and the Green Bay Zoo.
Every young fan aspires to get an autograph of their favorite Packer, ranging from Aaron Rodgers and Donald Driver to Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. They are the leaders of a Green Bay team expected to contend for a Super Bowl berth after a draft that infused youth and talent in the defense.
Green Bay faces a brutal start to the NFL schedule, with September games on a Sunday late afternoon one week, a Thursday night the next, a Monday evening after that, and then back to Sunday late afternoon.
"I wanted that reflected in the training camp, so that was part of the reason why we went with morning practice, night practice and afternoon practices," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "I feel like this schedule of training camp really gives us the chance to get ready for the beginning of the season."
Team practices are open to the public, but inclement weather would force the team into the Don Hutson Center for a closed practice session. Practices vary from full-contact to walk-throughs with helmets only and typically last 2-2.5 hours.
A highlight of camp is the annual Family Night Scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 3rd. Exhibition play opens on Thursday, Aug. 9 at the San Diego Chargers.
Thur., July 26 - 8:15 a.m. (shells)
Fri., July 27 - 8:15 a.m. (shells)
Sat. July 28 - 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Sun., July 29 - No practice
Mon., July 30 - 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Tues., July 31 - 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Wed., Aug. 1 - 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Thur., Aug. 2 - 7 p.m. (full pads)
Fri., Aug. 3 - Family Night Scrimmage, 6:30 p.m. (full pads)
Sat., Aug. 4 - No practice
Sun., Aug. 5 - 7 p.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 6 - 7 p.m. (full pads)
Tues., Aug. 7 - 3:30 p.m. (full pads)
Wed., Aug. 8 - No practice
Thur., Aug. 9 - Preseason game at San Diego Chargers, 7 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 10 - No practice
Sat. Aug. 11 - 7 p.m. (full pads)
Sun., Aug. 12 - 7 p.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 13 - 7 p.m. (full pads)
Tues., Aug. 14 - 3:30 p.m. (full pads)
Wed., Aug. 15 - No practice
Thur., Aug. 16 - Preseason game vs. Cleveland Browns, 7 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 17 - No practice
Sat., Aug. 18 - No practice
Sun., Aug. 19 - 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 20 - 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Tues., Aug. 21 - 11 a.m. (helmets)
Wed., Aug. 22 - No practice
Thur., Aug. 23 - Preseason game at Cincinnati Bengals, 6 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 24 - No practice
Sat., Aug. 25 - No practice
Sun., Aug. 26 - 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 27 - 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Tues., Aug. 28 - 11 a.m. (helmets)
Wed., Aug. 29 - No practice
Thur., Aug. 30 - Preseason game vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 6 p.m.