Phase I – Titletown Development District

Title TownOn April 1st I posted an article about the Green Bay Packers (Packers) future plans to develop land adjacent to Lambeau Field as a mixed-use real estate development to be known as Titletown Development District. In August of 2015, the Packers further unveiled their vision for the Titletown Development District. Key to the Titletown Development District will be a ten acre public plaza, a park-like venue with a year round programming that will include fitness-related activities, cultural opportunities, and space for a variety of uses, including a winter ice skating rink and team-inspired public art in addition to festivities on game day. Three key tenants will be integrated around the ten acre public plaza, including Lodge Kohler, Bellin Heath, and Hinterland. “The public plaza, with its size and location near Lambeau Field, will be a draw that is very unique in our area and a wonderful public space for our community,” said Mark Murphy, Packers president and chief executive officer.[1]

Title Town DevelopmentKohler Company will construct and operate Lodge Kohler, a proposed four diamond hotel within Titletown Development District on Ridge Road. The 150 room, five story hotel will include a bar and restaurant, an indoor/outdoor garden, pool, spa, and fitness facility, and an outdoor area featuring a tented event space. Lodge Kohler will provide lodging for Packer game attendees as well as year around accommodations to accommodate conventions, executive retreats, and other events. The hotel is expected to open in late summer of 2017.[2]

“Kohler Co. is proud to collaborate with the Green Bay Packers to develop LODGE KOHLER in the new Titletown,” said Executive Chairman Herb Kohler. “The hotel will be our company’s fourth hotel in an iconic location adding to The American Club and Inn on Woodlake in Kohler, Wisconsin, and The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland. The new hotel will offer guests a high level of accommodation, excellent service and unique amenities.

We are committed to providing our guests who stay at LODGE KOHLER with a level of enjoyment and comfort that matches our company’s mission of contributing to a higher level of gracious living for those who are touched by our products and services.”[3]

The Kohler Co. Hospitality & Real Estate profile includes Destination Kohler, anchored by The American Club – the first and only Five-Star hotel in Wisconsin – and world-renowned championship golf venues Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, which have hosted six Professional Golfers’ Association Major Championships. The American Club resort hotel is one of only forty-eight hotels in North America to have both the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond distinctions. Kohler Waters Spa is the first and only Five-Star spa in Wisconsin and one of only forty-eight spas worldwide to hold this distinction. The resort also features the charming mid-priced Inn on Woodlake, twelve dining establishments from the elite Immigrant to pub fare at Horse & Plow. The resort is located in the Village of Kohler, Wisconsin, one hour south of Green Bay, one hour north of Milwaukee, and two and a half hours north of Chicago.[4]

Bellin Health, the official healthcare partner of the Packers, will construct and operate an approximately 30,000 square-foot sports medicine facility within the Titletown Development District. The sports medical facility will specialize in injury prevention, performance improvement, and treatment and therapy for injuries, and will also include a lab and x-ray and MRI machines, in addition to sports nutrition and sports psychology services. The clinic will be headed by longtime Packers team physician Dr. Patrick McKenzie, as well as Dr. Jim Ebben, Dr. James Spears, and other sports medicine specialists.[5]

The proximity of this location to the team’s facilities certainly heightens the level of convenience for Dr. McKenzie and the players needing injury evaluation and treatment,” said George Kerwin, Bellin Health president and CEO. “That being said, the most prominent aspect of our relationship with the Packers has been our shared desire to elevate the health and wellness of the community. This facility is an opportunity to share a magnificent sports medicine facility with athletes of all abilities. Through our alignment with the Packers, we are creating a destination for those in need of excellence in sports medicine.[6]

Bellin Health,, is an integrated healthcare delivery system based in Green Bay, Wis. It has serviced people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. Bellin Health has more than 3,500 employees and is known for its emphasis on preventive healthcare and is the region’s leader in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health, and primary care medicine. It is comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Center, thirty-one Bellin Health primary care physician clinics, and several retail health clinics known as Bellin Health FastCare. Bellin also operates Bellin Health Partners, a physician-hospital organization with more than 150 specialty physician members, Bellin Health Oconto Hospital, a critical care access hospital in Oconto, Bellin Fitness, and Bellin College. [7]

Hinterland’s new facility will be 20,000 square feet, nearly four times larger than the current Green Bay restaurant and brewery. Hinterland has a location in the Third Ward of the City of Milwaukee and will move from its downtown Green Bay location to the Titletown Development District. It will feature a main floor brew pub and restaurant experience that pairs farm-to-table culinary experiences with gameday specialties. To engage the Titletown District’s plaza, the exterior walls will be retractable for outdoor experiences – complete with heated concrete and heat lamps for the ultimate tailgating, event, or concert environment. The restaurant’s upper level will host an intimate seventy-five seat restaurant featuring Hinterland’s signature Green Bay culinary experience, and will also have rooms for private events. The brewery will produce 20,000 bottles annually and have tours and tasting rooms for guests to learn about Hinterland and its unique approach to craft beers and the art of brewing.[8]

“This is a big day for us,” said Bill Tressler, owner and creator of Hinterland restaurant and artisanal brewery. “My wife, Michelle, and I have been brewing for over 20 years and pairing our beer with exceptional food in our restaurant. This new location, across from Lambeau, will allow us to expand our brewing operation and create a craft beer experience that is unique to Hinterland and will wow our guests.”[9]

Hinterland operates a restaurant in Green Bay as well as in Milwaukee. Bill and Michelle Tressler also own and operate the Whistling Swan in Fish Creek, Door County. Hinterland beer is a brand of the Green Bay Brewing Company. The brewery currently offers eleven distinct beers with six selections throughout the year. Seasonal and limited release options vary in availability allowing for the company to continue to offer new craft beer experiences. The company expects to run all operations out of the new location across from Lambeau Field by Spring 2017. Learn more about Hinterland at[10]

The Packers currently own large parcels of real estate to the west, south, and east of Lambeau Field. The first reported land purchases were in November of 2007. The purchases have been made under several different names including: Green Bay Packers Inc., Lambeau Field Redevelopment LLC, 1141 Lombardi LLC, 1177 Lombardi LLC, and Green Bay Development LLC. As of March 2015, the Packers own sixty-three properties near the stadium.[11]

The Packers have indicated that the Titletown District could require as much as a $130 million investment, including $65 million the Packers will be contributing. The Packers are certainly at no shortage for cash in that the team reported at its annual meeting that revenue from the 2015 year topped $375 million, a 16 percent increase from the previous year.[12]

Utilities and infrastructure work will start in the fall of 2015 on the area of land that stretches west along Lombardi Avenue from Ridge Road to Marlee Lane.[13]

The core of the Titletown district is the thirty-four acres the Packers own immediately west of Lambeau Field. The district is bordered by Lombari Avenue, Southridge Road, Marley Lane, and Brookwood Drive. In the middle of the district will be ten acres of public space that include a football sized field, green space, a regulation sized skating pond, and more to be determined. There are discussions of constructing as many as seventy townhomes on the north side of Brookwood Drive, and a specialty grocer within walking distance of the townhome development. The Packers acquired purchase options on fourteen duplexes on the south side of Brookwood Drive, directly across the street from where they planned to build the townhomes overlooking the Titletown District public plaza on the north side of Brookwood Drive.

I have referred to Titletown as a staged sports.comm.

In my Marquette Sports Law Review article Sports.comm: It Takes a Village to Build a Sports Facility, I identified the Titletown District as a classic example of a staged sports.comm:

Though sports.comms are most successful as a revenue generator when they are part of a fully-conceived development plan, team owners and local governments have begun to apply the sports.comm concept on a staged basis by upgrading a city’s existing sports infrastructure. Team owners that own additional land surrounding their stadium, or are part of a receptive community that enables them to acquire that land, have begun creating multi-use entertainment districts adjacent to their sports venues in order to further enlarge their sports venues.

Most notably, league revenue-sharing rules have made the development of a sports.comm a practical necessity for owners in order to keep their teams economically viable. All professional leagues have some form of revenue sharing that generally requires teams to share their national media, licensing, and gate receipt revenues; however, other stadium revenues are generally not shared.[14] Therefore, team owners have sought to maximize their stadium revenues by constructing additional revenue-generating facilities around an existing professional sports anchor venue. These structures are not necessarily sports-related; rather, they are traditional retail, entertainment, and recreational elements capable of attracting large crowds to a sports venue.

The staged sports.comm concept, in addition to being utilized by team owners, has also been utilized by local governments that have attempted to transform their city into a destination place in order to better compete in the emerging global marketplace. City’s have accomplished this by both expanding their existing stadium infrastructure and by creating new sports venues in the hope of attracting a professional sports tenant to anchor its multi-use entertainment district. The effects of the recession have generally required local governments to play a larger role in the development of the modern sports.comm, which has given city’s more power to control the planning of these developments, which ensures that the sports.comm will benefit the local community as well as the local sports franchise.

Examples of the staged sports.comm concept include the expansion of the New Orleans Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints; the creation of the Titletown District surrounding Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers; and the proposed upgrade of Sportsman’s Park encompassing the University of Phoenix stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. The city-driven staged sports.comm is best illustrated by the Bricktown District in Oklahoma City, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder; and the Platinum Triangle in Anaheim, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.[15]

The concept of a staged sports.comm has and will continue to take a tremendous foothold in the NFL. Take for example what is currently happening in Santa Clara and Minneapolis.

Santa Clara

Shortly after the announcement of the construction of a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, California former 49ers great Joe Montana also made an announcement. Montana proposed a $400 million, 730,000 square foot project across from the 49ers stadium that would include hotels, retail and commercial space, and a restaurant owned by Montana; the project is called the Santa Clara Centennial Gateway.[16] The 9 acres of land Montana hoped to build this project on is located across from the stadium and is being used by the 49ers as a parking lot for game days and the 49ers currently have first priority to the land, although the Santa Clara City Council has approved an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with Montana for the land.[17]

Three years later, Related, a development company founded by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross, proposed the City Center Santa Clara project, that would be developed on a BMX track, city-owned golf course, and landfill just north of the stadium.[18] The City Center project would cover 230-acres just north of the stadium and 9-acre area where Montana has proposed to build the Santa Clara Centennial Gateway[19] and cost about $6.5 billion.[20] The Santa Clara City Council approved an ENA with Related for the land.[21] The City Center is set to includes “30 restaurants, a 350-room hotel, and 380 apartment units. There will be another 1 million square feet of shops, including two or three department stores, along with plans for a movie theater, a comedy or jazz club, a bowling alley and an arts performance center.”[22] This totals about 1.4 million square feet, including 320,000 square feet for office spaces and a hotel with 300 rooms.[23]

Montana’s project has faced several setbacks, including cutting ties with his most recent business partner and facing construction problems.[24] So, Related and Montana have formed a partnership to combine the 9-acres Montana has exclusive negotiating rights to with the 230 acres that Related has purchased, with Related controlling the planning of the entirety of the 239-acres.[25] Related has reached a preliminary agreement with the city over the financial terms of the ground-lease agreement for the 9-acres of land.[26] Related, and Montana, will develop the 9-acres of land across from the stadium first. This project includes “71,000 square feet of retail, 258,000 square feet of office, a 400 room hotel and 200 units of housing.”[27] Construction will begin in 2016 and is set to be complete by 2019.[28] The remaining 230-acres of the project will include, as mentioned above, 1.4 million square feet, including 320,000 square feet of office spaces and a hotel with 300 rooms.[29] Construction for the majority of the project will begin sometime after construction on Centennial Gateway, the 9-acre project, has begun and will be complete by 2020.[30]


In December 2013, the Minneapolis City Council approved a $ 400 million project set to be constructed west of the Minnesota Vikings new stadium.[31] Ryan Companies, headquartered in Minneapolis, will develop the project, which will include “two 8-story office buildings that will offer Wells Fargo 1.2 million square feet of office space; 20,000 square feet of new retail space; as many as 300 new residential units; a 1,610 space parking ramp two blocks from the new Vikings stadium; a 2-block ‘Urban Park’ on 4th Street, between 5th and Park avenues; [and] a skyway connection from downtown to the new Vikings stadium.”[32] The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority will contribute $16.32 million to the construction of the ramp[33] and the city will contribute $65 million issued through bonds with $33 million going towards the construction of the parking ramp and $20 million to purchase land for a new park next to the stadium.[34] The total cost to the public will be around $84 million.[35] The park will be 4.2 acres[36] and the Vikings will donate $1 million for the park project.[37]

The Metrodome, torn down more than a year and a half ago, never inspired development in its northeast Minneapolis downtown neighborhood. The US Bank Stadium, which is being built on the same site, is expected to generate nearly $1 billion in downtown Minneapolis development. In addition to the development, the new stadium is also expected to bring a 2018 Super Bowl to Minneapolis, a 2019 men’s college Final Four basketball tournament, and potentially a 2020 college football championship.[38]


There is no question that in the future it takes a real estate development to build a sports facility. Stadium development and auxiliary real estate development are inextricably related. The auxiliary real estate development makes the stadium a destination place, a 365 day a year event attractor, and a place where people can live, play, and stay. Auxiliary real estate development may be the best evidence of economic impact as it relates to a new sports facility. That is – what goes on outside the facility may be more important than what goes on inside. In my Marquette Sports Law Review article Sports.comm: It Takes a Village to Build a Sports Facility, I outline best practices for creating a successful, i.e. – auxiliary real estate development near, adjacent, or part of the planning process for a new sports facility. What follows is an outline of best practices for creating a successful sports.comm:

  1. Anchor Facilities
    1. Sports Venue
      1. Professional Sports Venue
        1. Easily convertible.
      2. Additional venues to compliment the stadium to promote year-round use of the sports.comm
        1. Minor League Baseball
        2. MLS
        3. Lacrosse
        4. Extreme Sports
      3. Multiple events to attract multiple people, including hockey games, soccer matches, concerts, tournaments, commencements, boxing matches, bowl games, revivals, winter carnivals, monster truck rallies, motocross events, etc.
    2. Retail Store
      1. Bass Pro Shops
        1. Regional Attraction
      2. Other large retailers that are unique to the region
      3. Must satisfy all price points
    3.  Commercial
      1. Corporate Headquarters
      2. Regional Hospital
      3. Convention Center
    4.  Hotel
      1. Preferably near or connected to the stadium
    5.  Residential
      1. Hotels
      2. Condominiums
      3. Must satisfy all price points
    6.  Historical
      1.  Museum
        1. To synergize modern development with city’s historical character.
  2. Auxiliary Developments
    1. Entertainment
      1. Restaurants (all price points)
      2. Bars (all price points)
      3. Movie Theater
      4. Concert Venue
      5. Recreational
        1.  Sports
        2. Interactive Video Games
        3. Other Corporate “team building” opportunities
    2. Retail
      1. Options unique within the region
        1. Fit identity of the development
      2. Outlet malls
      3. Farmer’s Market
    3.  Transportation
      1. Should be located near a major transportation hub
        1. Train station
        2. Airport
        3. Highway
        4. Waterway
  3. Community Benefits
    1. Community Benefits Agreement
    2. Walkable downtown
      1. Market Street Design- Shops below residential buildings for cohesion
    3. New Infrastructure
      1. Street beautification
      2. Parks (“green space”)
      3. Roads/bridges/canals
    4. New Jobs with living wages
      1. Grocery store
      2. Reasonable retail and dining options for low income residents and new workers[39]


Regardless of the real estate development strategy imposed, team owners will continually attempt to create their own sports.comm due to the obvious economic and social benefits they have been shown to create. Sports.comms are people attracters and can transform a city into an entertainment destination. They can revitalize blighted areas. Most importantly, a sports.comm can change the dynamic between a sports team and a city by providing unique community benefits that would most likely not have been offered under a traditional stadium financing agreement.


Thank you to Lori Shaw for assisting in the researching and footnoting of this post.

[1] Andrew Weiland, Titletown District Will Add Another Major Attraction for State, BizTimes Media (Sept. 7, 2015),

[2] Olivia Barrow, Kohler’s Titletown Hotel Expected to Boost Convention Business at Lambeau Field, Milwaukee Business Journal (Aug. 26, 2015),

[3] Packers Unveil Vision for Titletown District, Green Bay Packers News, (last visited Oct. 31, 2015).

[4] Titletown District,, (last visited Oct. 31, 2015).

[5] Packers Unveil Vision for Titletown District, supra note 3.

[6] Id.

[7] Titletown District, supra note 4.

[8] Packers Unveil Vision for Titletown District, supra note 3.

[9] Id.

[10] Titletown District, supra note 4.

[11] Robert Hornacek, Fox11 Investigates: Map of Packers Land Near Lambeau Field, WLUK, (Sept. 30, 2014),

[12] Nick Canelas, Packers Unveil Plans for ‘Titletown District’ Next to Lambeau Field, Sporting News (Aug. 21, 2015),

[13] Titletown District, supra note 4.

[14] Scott Rosner & Kenneth L. Shropshire, The Business of Sports 48 (2004).

[15] Greenberg, Martin J. & Dennis Hughes, Jr., Sports.comm: It Takes a Village to Building a Sports Facility, 22 Marq. Sports L. Rev. 91 (2011).

[16] Mike Rosenberg, Joe Montana’s Project Across from 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium Delayed Again, MERCURY NEWS (Dec. 8, 2014),

[17] Id.; Carolyn Schuk, New Northside Starts Taking Shape, The Santa Clara Weekly (Jan. 9, 2014),

[18] Mike Rosenberg, $6.5 Billion Mega-Project Across from 49ers Stadium Gets Bigger, Closer to Reality, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS (July 3, 2014),

[19] Id; Nathan Donato-Weinstein, New Details on Related’s Project Next to Levi’s Stadium, SILICON VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL (June 16, 2015),

[20] Rosenberg, supra note 16.

[21] Carolyn Schuk, New Northside Starts Taking Shape, The Santa Clara Weekly (Jan. 9, 2014),

[22] Rosenberg, supra note 18.

[23] Donato-Weinstein, supra note 19.

[24] Rosenberg, supra note 16.

[25] Donato-Weinstein, supra note 19.

[26] Id.

[27] Id.

[28] Id.

[29] Id.

[30] Id.

[31] Tim Nelson, Blockbuster Stadium District project gets green light in Minneapolis, Minnesota Public Radio News (Dec. 13, 2013),

[32] Id.

[33] Id.

[34] Id.

[35] Id.

[36] Sam Black, Conceptual Renderings Unveiled for Downtown Park Near Vikings Stadium, Minnesota/St. Paul Business Journal (Apr. 9, 2015),

[37] Tim Nelson, Ryan, Vikings Add Millions to Bid for Stadium District Development, Minnesota Public Radio News (Dec. 5, 2013),

[38] Don Davis, A Wedding at the Vikings Stadium? Events Already Booking, (Oct. 7, 2015),

[39] Martin J. & Hughes, Jr., supra note 15.