Packers fan gets season tickets after decades on waiting list
NEW RICHMOND -- Back in 1975, local real estate agent Mike Sager was a young man in his 20s.
He was married with two young children, and he had a job on the labeling crew at Friday Canning Corp.
That's the year he put his name on the list for Green Bay Packers season tickets.
"I've just been an avid Packers fan all my life," Sager said. "When I was growing up it was the era of the original Super Bowls in the mid-’60s."
This summer, after 38 years on the waiting list, Sager finally received his tickets.
His children now have teenagers of their own, and he has traded his job at the canning plant for a job in real estate.
"I knew it was going to take a long time, but I didn't know it would take that long," Sager said.
Over the course of his nearly four decades of waiting, Sager kept in contact with the ticket office to find out his number on the list, and in recent years the ticket office began sending annual postcards.
"In 1999, my priority number dropped below 9,000," Sager said. "Then in 2012, it was down to 3,441."
At one point, the ticket office asked him if he would be interested in purchasing just a single season ticket, instead of the four he was signed up for, but he didn't think it would be as much fun sitting apart from whomever he brought to games.
Sager gave himself a better shot at getting his tickets this year when he switched from the seven-game Green Package to the three-game Gold Package.
This year, Lambeau Field added 7,500 new seats in the south end zone, which moved a lot more people off the waiting list and into seats, and Sager scored four tickets apiece for Packers home games against the Seattle Seahawks (preseason), the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Though many things have changed in Sager's life over the course of 38 years, he remains a die-hard football fan.
He has season tickets for Wisconsin Badgers football, and he is already planning a weekend this fall when he can catch a Badgers game on Saturday and a Packers game on Sunday.
"My wife wasn't too keen on the whole thing," Sager said. "She said, 'Mike, you've got a decision to make: the Badgers or the Packers. What's it going to be?' "
Right now, Sager recalls his favorite Packers memory as the 48-47 Monday night victory over the Washington Redskins on Oct. 17, 1983. Though he didn't have season tickets then, he said he knew enough people with tickets that he rarely had trouble getting his hands on some.
With his own season tickets -- in Section 132, Row 59, Seats 11-14 -- he'll have the chance to be in the stadium while he and his family make new memories alongside more than 80,000 fellow Cheeseheads.