Green Bay Packers offer team stock, sort of, to Cheesehead nation
Something tells us these ladies and gentlemen might be interested in $250 shares of Packers stock.
December 6th, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Green Bay Packers offer team stock, sort of, to Cheesehead nation

Congratulations, Packers fans! Those of you who've had your fill of Brett Favre bobbleheads and foam hats resembling Swiss cheese can now shell out $250 for something about as worthless.

The front office is billing it as a chance to become a team owner, an opportunity to be part of history, your chance to show you believe in "the great American story." The Green Bay Press-Gazette, on the other hand, is reporting that the team needs $143 million to add 7,000 seats plus a new sound system, scoreboards, entrances and elevators to storied Lambeau Field.

The good news is the Packers are making sure there is a way to receive the certificates by Christmas Eve, but Packers fans may think they're ordering anvils when they see the $25 shipping-and-handling fee. Seriously, what do these things weigh?

I guess if you think about it, the 20th-most valuable sports franchise in the world (at $1.02 billion, according to Forbes) asking average Joes to shell out $250 per stock certificate to help expand a stadium isn't much of a departure from the great American story. What does Occupy Green Bay think of all this?

OK, maybe that was a harsh assessment of the team's first stock offering in almost 15 years, but reading the conditions outlining what you do not get with your purchase makes one wonder, What the heck do you get?

Let's glance at the myriad ways this stock is nothing like a stock: Only individuals can buy it, the Pack has no obligation to pay you back, no one can buy more than 200 shares, you receive no protection from securities laws, the team and NFL "severely restrict" any stock transfer and you should not expect any profit, dividend, tax deduction or economic benefit in general.

There's also this nugget: "Stock in the Packers does not constitute an investment in 'stock' in the common sense of the term." Funny word, that stock.

Oh, and you have to live in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands to buy the, um, stock. I know the Chamorros are running for their checkbooks as we speak.

There are a few fringe benefits, though, even if I giggled when my close friend, a hardcore Cheesehead, instant messaged me this morning to say, "I am now an owner of the green bay packers! i voted to keep rodgers as starting quarterback next week!"

The Press-Gazette reports that those buying the initial allotment of 250,000 shares will be allowed "to vote on team business, including directors, and attend annual meetings. Shareholders do get such perks as exclusive locker room tours."

This is the fifth time in 92 years the defending Super Bowl champs and only publicly owned NFL franchise has asked fans to "come to the team's financial rescue," according to the team website. The Packers doled out more than 4.75 million stock shares with offerings in 1923, 1935, 1950 and 1997.

Kevin Quinn, an economist at St. Norbert College, told the Press-Gazette the 12-by-8-inch certificates were essentially memorabilia and defended those Packers faithful who would shell out a quarter-grand for one.

"It's not the worst thing you could spend your money on. You'd spend the same amount of money on a team jacket and you can't pass that on to the kids," he told the paper, without explaining why you can't pass on a jacket to your children.

So, best of luck, Packers fans. Estimates on how fast they will sell out range from "within minutes" to "never." Green Bay's front office says sales will run through February 29.

(Disclaimer: The author of this post is a Dallas fan who, despite an overtime choke versus the Cards on Sunday, would buy Cowboys stock if Jerry Jones could ever find it in his heart to give up a modicum of control.)

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Filed under: Brett Favre • Economy • Football • Pro football • Sports • U.S. • Wisconsin
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Brian

    I think it's safe to say that the people who are up in arms about this don't understand the unique ownership of the Green Bay packers. They're the *only* community-owned franchise in any of the American professional sporting leagues (in fact, the NFL rules explicitly don't allow this ownership but the Packers were grandfathered in). The team also release their balance sheet to the public, every year. It makes for a very tight group of supporters and calling the "stock" worthless doesn't take that camaraderie into account. Legally or not, contributing to the stadium-building cause *does* make you part of the greater team.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Upton

      T-Bone... do you own any piece of sports memorablia? a jersey? a tshirt? anything that supports the team? Once you buy those, it is all worthless... you actually get something with the stock, including invitations to share holders meetings and also options for clothing/ hats / etc for Green Bay Packers that no one else has access to. I bought a share 15 years ago and am thinking about buying another

      December 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe Walters

    Wow! I'm impressed that Mr. McLaughlin knows about Chamorros! Hafa Adai!

    December 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Thanks, Mr. Walters! Hafa Adai to you as well!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greg

    Yes, you obviously don't "get it". You see, it's a cool piece of memorabilia/history that NO OTHER NFL team can offer and will NEVER be able to offer! Why? Because NFL rules prohibit teams from being publicly owned, Green Bay was grandfathered in and it exempt from the rule.

    Not only that, but Green Bay is doing THE RIGHT THING by offering something like this. Instead of taxing the general public and sticking them with the bill (like your beloved Cowboys did for your ridiculous new stadium); Green Bay is letting actual Packer fans foot the bill. Heaven forbid that let the ACTUAL fans pay for stadium renovations, that's just (in your words)..... worthless.

    Thanks for hosting the Packers championship game last year though! Hope you enjoy watching other teams participate, because your pathetic Cowboys won't get close to one with Romo and company. :-p

    December 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      No, I totally get it, Greg. And it is really cool. I'd love to own some Cowboys stock, but as you point out, not happening. Pretty cool the Pack is paying for some Lambeau improvements this way, but when you get a chance, Google "Brown County stadium tax" for me. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan from Wisconsin... Again

      google what he failed to report... and hopefully you will be convinced by the nonsense you find online – hey eliot – did google write this article for you? is that what goes on behind closed doors at CNN? google reporting?

      And, as before, how come you only mention the option is actually cool after you wrote the article... your disclaimer just makes you look jealous not like you favor the idea.

      "Congratulations, Packers fans! Those of you who've had your fill of Brett Favre bobbleheads and foam hats resembling Swiss cheese can now shell out $250 for something about as worthless."

      Truly Insulting

      December 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip from MD

    I'm going to offer stock in me. For just $50 you can buy a piece of paper which symbolizes stocks in myself. You don't get any financial gains off what I make, but you can vote on what I have for dinner.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Go do something fantastic and someone might pay $50 for your autograph... what?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-Bone

      I like the way you think......

      December 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. davidholson

    "Minority Shareholder of a NFL Team" looks much better on a resume than "Cowboys Fan".

    December 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Anyone putting "Minority Shareholder of the Green Bay Packers" on their resume is either 1) desparate or 2) stupid.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Talibanana

    UR day are numbered cheese

    December 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    I am 48 years old, have been a Packer fan all my life, my email address starts out dan4pack (but I also went to NC State – look it up) and now finally (as of 0805 this morning), I am one of the lucky owners of the greatest NFL franchise in history, the REAL America's team, The Green Bay Packers.

    Although, I am curious why the limitation on where you live for being one of the owners... there are Packer Fans all over the world. What about our overseas troops that may want to purchase, but only have an APO address?

    December 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Madmac

      The Green Bay Packers are not now, nor have they EVER been "America's Team". I would love to see them finish the season undefeated, but we ALL know the Dallas Cowboy's are now and have alway's been "America's Team".

      Hater's proceed with your childish comment's. LOL.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      Madmac, if you mean Americas most hated team I guess you are correct, I hate anything coming out of that state after you gave us Bush

      December 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Their ridiculously easy schedule is going to haunt them the rest of their lives. They're going to have to answer for it just like the 72 Fins after the 2007 season.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. T-Bone

    You gotta be kidding me! But then again there are thousands of cheeseheads that will waste there money needlessly on a sliver of paper and won't even be able to say they own a blade of grass from the forzen tundra.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillSD33

      Why do you say "waste their money"? I love the fact that people can invest in their team. When the renovation is complete, Packer fans can be proud to say they contributed to it!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. onslo

    Could not wait to buy shares for grandkids, you losers in Dallas never will get it, so just sit back and let small town America wrk its magic.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. T-Bone

    I should by one just so I can wipe my............with it.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |

    everyone that's not a packers fan should buy the stocks then vote to let Rodgers play then hope he gets hurt.


    December 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    Given that I do not live in Green Bay, I guess I will never get it. What I will say is that Green Bay fans are different than any other fans in the NFL – this is true. They are fans, which is short for fanatical, which is defined as being a person that has excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncrtical devotion. Certain synonyms are radicalists, extremists and revolting. As you can see, these terms are not necessarily positive ones, in fact most others that share these same attributes tend to cause more harm than good. I guess what I am saying here is that it is all right to enjoy football from time to time as I consider myself a moderate fan, but I guess I'll never know what it is like to be a Green Bay fan.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • rockysfan

      No, clearly you will not. Feel sorry for you that you have to look at "fans" as fanatical, racialists, extremists and revolting. Maybe you should just look in the mirror-pathetic, lifeless, passionless. So sad to be YOU!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan from Wisconsin... Again

      which is why I am so insulted this cowboys pig wrote on the topic.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rockysfan

    Guess you just don't get it. In an age where the mogels decide who has a team and who doesn't; the Packers are not part of that. What team races little kids from the town to the practice field on that kids bike? How much community outreach do the other teams do? How many Joe Publics can say, I own part of that and no, I don't make a $1,000,000; I'm part of the 99% THAT is what you don't get. I'm just sorry I could only afford 1. Even if the Pack was 0-12; we'd still buy it. It's called loyalty. Another concept you probably wouldn't understand.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      To preface what I said before – rockysfan – Passionate, yes. Lifeless, no. I put my passion into my family, my work, and to things that are important in my life and to those who I serve – including my country. How sad is it to me now?

      To answer your question about how many other teams contribute towards the local community – do your homework...

      December 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. k

    I do not know how they can keep on adding new seats to a structure, I am not an engineer but I'd think that after a structure is built there is only so much you can add on before it collapses

    December 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    rockysfan – Passionate, yes. Lifeless, no. I put my passion into my family, my work, and to things that are important in my life and to those who I serve – including my country. How sad is it to me now?

    December 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      Perhaps not sad...but clearly very judgmental. You don't know Packer fans enough to declare them dispassionate about their families or country. You don't know Packer fans enough for that level of braggadocio over some perceived moral high ground.

      Time to step down from the High Horse, Matt.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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