Wealthy businessman (and Green Bay Packers Executive Committee Member) John Bergstrom called in a favor with new Governor Scott Walker in order to get legislation allowing the team to build on protected wetlands near Lambeau Field for a proposed retail-entertainment center called Titletown Sports District. It was hoped that Bass Pro Shops would anchor the retail component.
However, the environmentally-conscious company has distanced itself from the project, stating that it does not build on wetlands.
Governor Walker persists in saying he can change their mind (just as he insisted he could get the federal government to allow Wisconsin to use those rail project funds for roads). I expect the outcome to be the same.
But what I find interesting about the coverage of this issue is that the Wisconsin media (and bloggers critical of the special treatment for Bergstrom and destruction of wetlands in general) have downplayed or ignored the role of the Green Bay Packers organization in this project. Bergstrom was acting on behalf of the Packers in seeking special treatment. Why ignore that fact? Do we want to avoid criticizing our beloved Packers? Or do we fear that voters won't care as much about the wetlands as long as it's the Packers who want to pave them over?