Murphy green with envy Wowed by NFL fans

CQ NRL BID: Central Queensland NRL Bid chairman Geoff Murphy is still reeling from an incredible experience that would cause sports fans to turn green with envy.

Murphy returned to Rockhampton on Monday following a trip to the United States, where he caught up with Mark Murphy, chief executive and president of the Green Bay Packers' franchise.

"Mark (Murphy) invited me to sit in the executive box at Lambeau Field to watch the fourth round match against the Saints.

The executive committee are a really nice bunch of people and they really lay it on for you in the box," Murphy said.

While the crowds piled into fill the 73, 094 capacity stadium in Green Bay, people dressed in Packers' memorabilia partied in the streets surrounding the Green Bay venue, which was closed off to traffic.

"They keep partying until well after midnight...it was only early on in the season - football is like religion to the Green Bay fans," Murphy said.

"Before kick off, four air force jets flew overhead, and the 300 piece Wisconsin Brass Band performed - they also played at halftime and again at fulltime. They say they are the best brass band in the States, and they were magnificent."

The game was a close one, with the Green Bay Packers narrowly defeating the New Orleans Saints by a point - thrilling the droves of fans that had flocked to the Packers' home ground.

While Murphy prefers watching rugby league, he was starting to understand gridiron, especially after one of the executive members spent some time explaining the rules to him.

Earlier this year, Murphy met the Packer's CEO/President in Wisconsin, where he clinched a "sister club" agreement with the NFL's most successful franchise.

During that visit, Mark Murphy agreed to come to Rockhampton for Central Queensland's first match in the NRL.

Last month's visit to Wisconsin was to develop the relationship established in January and the opportunity to attend the Packers' game and experience the passion of NFL fans, was the highlight of his trip, Geoff Murphy said.

He added the Packers' franchise was inspirational, and one of his major aims was to duplicate what the Green Bay Packers had done to become so successful.

"The similarities with Green Bay and Rockhampton is amazing - meat packing is the major industry, Green Bay have a population of around 100,000 - Rockhampton has 120,000 people...even our surnames are the same which is ironic," Geoff Murphy said referring to the Packer's CEO.

"We could learn a lot from them."

During Murphy's visit to America, he also took a tour of Cowboys Stadium, the impressive home ground for the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas. The stadium, which seats 80,000, opened in 2009 and cost US$1.3 billion to complete.

"The four sided TV screen was worth US$40 million alone...when you compare the stadium to the one we would build here in CQ, which would seat 20000 people for AU$150-160 million, it is absolutely mind-boggling."

Meanwhile, Murphy and the CQ NRL Bid team are waiting for the NRL Strategic Plan to be released before February, when they will learn if NRL expansion will go ahead.

 

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