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Blizzard gearing up for a busy month of football, family and fun

By Mallory Allen

GREEN BAY – Hard-hitting, affordable family fun – that’s the motto the Green Bay Blizzard lives by.

Located in the same city widely known as the home of the world-renowned Green Bay Packers, the Blizzard football franchise is generally eclipsed by their neighbors at 1265 Lombardi Ave.

While they may be overshadowed, the Blizzard shouldn’t be overlooked.

Founded in 2003, the Blizzard has a rich history of membership in the professional Indoor Football League (IFL).

This sport – which remains unfamiliar to many – can be described as “real” football but has a different style.

The indoor game boasts some similarities to the type of play seen at the high school, collegiate and NFL levels.

However, many of the IFL’s rules regarding positions, formations, scoring and field length (50 yards long rather than 100) are distinctive to the league.

When these factors are combined, it makes for exciting games, complete with fast-paced action, wild plays and lots of points on the scoreboard.

The Blizzard opened their 2022 season with a 26-23 loss against the Bismarck Bucks at the Resch Center March 13.

Since then, they’ve lost two more games and currently sit at 0-3.

A few weeks after the season-opener, the front office is looking forward to April – its busiest month by far.

Green Bay has three home games scheduled in a 16-day span (April 9, 16 and 24).

“It’s exciting, and it’s stressful … We’re moving from the laser show into the postgame concert into the Skee-Ball giveaway,” Green Bay Blizzard Director of Sales Ryan Hopson said. “It’s lots of work, but at the same time, it’ll be weird when it’s over because there will still be three months of the season left, and we’ll already be halfway done at home.”

As a competitive football franchise, the Blizzard’s primary goal is winning football games.

However, Hopson said it’s just as important to the organization to provide the fans with unique opportunities for fun, entertainment and interaction – all at a great price.

“Not everyone can afford to go across the street and watch a football game at Lambeau,” he said. “A family of four can sit in the endzone at a Blizzard game and grab a couple of hot dogs for the price of one Packers ticket. It means lots to have this affordable option for people.”

Each Blizzard home game is given a theme, along with promotions, giveaways, events and/or food and drink specials.

Some are annual (such as Military Appreciation Night), but many are new each year.

Hopson said when it comes to organizing and scheduling themes and promotions, “We (the front office) are usually planning eight months ahead of time.”

On March 13, the theme was “100% Chance of Snow” – when the team scored, an artificial blizzard fell over the Resch Center crowd.

“I thought the snowstorm was super cool,” 20-year-old Alyssa Nelson, who was in attendance for her first-ever Blizzard game, said. “It added another dimension of excitement to the game.”

Nelson said although she had never heard of indoor football, “I thought the whole experience was fun.”

“I’ll come back for another Blizzard game – hopefully, sometime this season,” she said.

Kicking off the Blizzard’s hectic month is Kids Night April 9 at 6:05 p.m.

Children ages 12 and under are free with a paid adult ticket, and the first 1,000 in attendance will receive a youth jersey.

Additionally, Dash 4 Cash Teacher Edition will occur at halftime, and the popular laser show will return after the game ends.

One week later is the Blizzard’s Easter Extravaganza (April 16, 6:05 p.m.), which will feature inflatables, candy and more holiday-themed specials.

Each attendee will receive a Wonka Bar, and whoever holds the “golden ticket” wins the day’s grand prize: a Skee-Ball Home Arcade Deluxe.

“I’m curiously optimistic and excited for that one, because, in my nine years here (at the Blizzard), we’ve never had a holiday weekend game,” Hopson said.  “We’ve done the Wonka Bar giveaway before, but never in this capacity.”

Wrapping up the Blizzard’s April home stretch is the yearly Faith & Family Day (April 24, 3:05 p.m.) but with an extra special twist.

Christian singer-songwriter Colton Dixon will perform after the game ends.

Hot dogs and soda will be available at a discounted price of $2.

“I’m looking forward to the Colton Dixon show,” Hopson said. “We were on the cusp of pulling off a post-game concert in 2020 before the season was canceled, and now we’re having a former American Idol contestant perform for us. That game should be crazy and lots of fun.”

And the fun doesn’t end when April does.

Superhero, Top Gun, Military Appreciation and 90s nights comprise the Blizzard’s final four home game themes in May and June.

Promotions include costume contests, beer specials, themed giveaways and a pregame block party.

All of this is done, Hopson said, to help the Blizzard organization fulfill its mission under owners Larry and Kathy Treankler: “To provide affordable family fun and an award-winning gameday experience, while bringing families together and impacting our community.”

Community-oriented is perhaps the best way to describe the Blizzard franchise.

Area schools and groups are invited to form a fan tunnel for players to run through during pregame introductions; youth football teams face off at halftime; local bands and dance teams perform; kids participate in games and challenges on the field during timeouts and media breaks, etc.

And at the end of every game, the “5th Quarter” allows fans to meet the Blizzard’s players, take pictures and get autographs.

Between the themes, special events, whether you’re young or old, male or female, football fanatic or sports apathetic, Hopson said there’s something for everyone who comes to watch the Blizzard.

“I wish more people knew that there’s good football right across the street from Lambeau,” he said. “I love and respect that (NFL) game as much as anyone, but it’s not the only game in town. We’re different in the best way possible. I challenge you to try it out and not like it. We dare you not to like Blizzard football.”

Visit the Green Bay Blizzard website by CLICKING HERE and click on the Tickets tab to purchase tickets to any of the team’s upcoming home games.

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