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Hundreds of thousands in Wisconsin watch Vikings instead of Packers
MINNEAPOLIS - Everyone in Wisconsin got to watch the Packers and Vikings play Sunday night and most of the state will get to watch Green Bay take on Arizona next Sunday.

But nearly 400,000 people in Wisconsin that are serviced by out-of-state television markets may not get that chance.

"We can sit around, wait for the game, plan for the game, and then it doesn't come in. We don't get it," Menomonie resident and Packers fan Justine Rider said.

Minneapolis or Duluth TV stations service 12 western Wisconsin counties.

Whether people in that part of the state watch Packer games or Viking games can come down to a matter of miles.

Eau Claire gets the Packers games on Sundays just like in most of the state, but 20 miles away across the Dunn County line, viewers may not get the Green and Gold, even though they're still 45 minutes from the state line with Minnesota.

Even though Vikings games are on the television in Menomonie, there's no questioning which team has more gameday fans at the Stout Ale House.

"There's definitely more Packers fans than there are Vikings fans," waitress Abbey Kennedy said.

That's even true in Hudson, where Packers fans dominate a local sports bar called The Village Inn, despite the town being only a five minutes drive from Minnesota.

"We still get a lot of Vikings fans," Village Inn waitress Krystin Kaess said. "However, we do get about 80 percent Packers fans and then 20 percent of Vikings fans."

It's possible the 80 percent of Packers fans in both Menomonie and Hudson may get their wish if Sen. Tammy Baldwin's Go Pack Go Act becomes law.

"A few Wisconsin counties don't get to see what's happening in Green Bay," Baldwin said in July. "That's got to change."

The bill is similar to one proposed by Rep. Sean Duffy in 2014 that never made it out of committee. 

Packers fans in Menomonie don't care who gets the credit. They just want to be able to watch their team.

"Football is a pretty big thing, especially in these smaller towns," Kennedy said. "I think if they had the option they would definitely go for it."

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Space and Transportation did not take up Sen. Baldwin's bill.

Baldwin's office told Newswatch 12 she plans to re-introduce it when the 116th congress takes its seats in January.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein


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