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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers signs an autograph for a fan during the last Tailgate Tour to come to Superior in 2007. (Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Packer Tailgate Tour to make stop in Superior

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Emily Kram and Ken Olson

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The Green Bay Packers are coming to Superior.

The ninth annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour includes an April 17 stop in Superior. The event is held at Superior High School and benefits the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex.

This marks the second time the Tailgate Tour has come to Superior. The city was the first stop on the Packers’ tour in 2007, when Wessman Arena hosted the evening tailgate party.

Proceeds from that stop went to the Superior-Douglas County Family YMCA Strong Kid’s Campaign.

“It was very successful,” said Mike Kraft, Superior YMCA executive director. “Just the exposure was tremendous in terms of hosting the event.”

Kraft said 2007 Tailgate Tour brought in about $11,000 in net proceeds for the Strong Kid’s Campaign.

“It showed the Packers organization, as well, that they have a lot of fans up here in Superior,” Kraft said.

On April 17, Packers fans will have the opportunity to meet a number of current and former players.

This year’s event features cornerback Jarrett Bush, linebacker Brad Jones and kicker Mason Crosby. Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton are also slated to attend along with Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.

Kraft said he expects the event to be as memorable as 2007, when the Packers sent their backup quarterback as a player representative.

“At that time, we had Aaron Rodgers,” Kraft said. “I still have my shots that I had taken with him.”

Nick Barnett and Mark Tauscher were the other two players in attendance for the Tailgate Tour’s 2007 stop in Superior.

Tickets for this year’s event go on sale March 1 at Screen Graphics, 1327 Banks Ave., beginning at 8 a.m.

The cost of a general admission ticket is $30, and a person can purchase no more than four tickets.

VIP tickets cost $100. They grant admission to a VIP reception with the Packers representatives from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Superior High School and admission to the tailgate party. The VIP reception provides guests food and beverages.

SHS activities director Ray Kosey said the district has 650 general admission tickets to sell, along with 80 VIP tickets.

“We anticipate these tickets to sell out fast,” Kosey said. “Anyone wishing to attend should plan to purchase their ticket at Screen Graphics on Saturday, March 1.”

The doors for the tailgate party in the SHS gym open at 5 p.m. April 17, and the event runs 6-8:30 p.m.

The school district also has a groundbreaking ceremony for the NBC Spartan Sports Complex planned 5:30-6 p.m. the same day.

Kosey expects a crowd of about 750 people for the Tailgate Tour, based on ticket limits. The event features a question-and-answer and autograph sessions, raffles, auctions, giveaways and games. Additional food and beverages will be sold.

“The gym will have a stage for the welcome of the Packers, and the Packers will be at tables to sign autographs,” Kosey said. “All ticket holders will receive a poster of all the Packer representatives that they can have signed, along with tickets for food and beverages.”

The 2014 Tailgate Tour also makes stops in Escanaba (April 15), Ironwood (April 16), Rice Lake (April 18) and Merrill (April 19).

The tour takes place aboard a customized motor coach emblazoned with the logo “Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour” and the phrase “Touching Down in Your Community.” In addition to the designated locations, tour celebrities make surprise stops as the schedule allows.

Fans interested in Tailgate Tour details are encouraged to visit www.packers.com often as tour information will be updated as the dates near.

NOTES: Screen Graphics plans to have Tailgate Tour T-shirts for sale. The T-shirts are $10 when you purchase your Tailgate ticket, or $15 the day of the event.

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