View Full Version : The Myth of Greenbay's Public Ownership
02-04-2011, 12:28 PM
You hear the comment all the time. The people of Greenbay own the Packers. Isn't that wonderful. No sleazy capitalist in our town.
Let's look at this deal.
"Another stock sale occurred late in 1997 and early in 1998. It added 105,989 new shareholders and raised over $24 million, money used for the Lambeau Field redevelopment project. Priced at $200 per share, fans bought 120,010 shares during the 17-week sale, which ended March 16, 1998. As of June 8, 2005, 112,015 people (representing 4,750,934 shares) can lay claim to a franchise ownership interest. Shares of stock include voting rights, but the redemption price is minimal, no dividends are ever paid, the stock cannot appreciate in value (though private sales often exceed the face value of the stock), and stock ownership brings no season ticket privileges. No shareholder may own over 200,000 shares, a safeguard to ensure that no individual can assume control of the club. To run the corporation, a board of directors is elected by the stockholders."
Who would buy shares in that? That's theft to me. Highway robbery. What happens to the profits? Public ownership is a myth. How the SEC allows them to do this is beyond me?
02-04-2011, 01:01 PM
I don't think it's a bad deal at all.
Owning a part of something isn't always about making money. The "profit" in this case is the knowledge that fans have an actual say in what direction the Packer organization goes and that there is no billionaire or corporation calling the shots.
The Packers are a non-profit corporation and the shareholders elect a board of directors and can (if they wish) attend the annual shareholders meetings and have a say in what happens to the team. The money generated from the sale of stock in the team goes into a general fund and basically covers the costs that any typical team would incur.
No, there aren't any dividends and no one is going to get rich owning stock in the team but that's not why people buy into the corporation. They buy into it to basically protect their "investment" by mandating that what happens to the team is a community decision and not the decision of any single person or entity.
I think it's a pretty good deal overall.
What backs up that feeling is the fact that way back in the early days of the NFL when the bean counters began to realize the league's potential, they drafted a bylaw making it impossible for any such publicly owned venture to exist again in the NFL.
If the NFL saw fit to make public ownership illegal, you can bet your ass that they did so because they saw something in public ownership that would cut in to the bottom line of a core group of league officials and rich owners and they couldn't let that happen. In essence, what's bad for the League is good for the people and that's basically the opposite of what they wanted, so they got rid of it as soon as they could.
I still want my Steelers to kick the Packer's asses in the SB, but I DO like the way they run things otherwise.
02-04-2011, 03:30 PM
I have no problem with public ownership. In fact, I think all the teams that accept government money to build stadiums should be publicly owned. The shares need to be sold and bought freely.
02-04-2011, 03:57 PM
"Another stock sale occurred late in 1997 and early in 1998. It added 105,989 new shareholders and raised over $24 million, money used for the Lambeau Field redevelopment project. Priced at $200 per share, fans bought 120,010 shares during the 17-week sale, which ended March 16, 1998. As of June 8, 2005, 112,015 people (representing 4,750,934 shares) can lay claim to a franchise ownership interest.
So according to this, before the 1997-98 sale, there were only 6,026 shareholders, and they owned over 4.6 million shares.
02-07-2011, 12:57 AM
I see nothing wrong with public ownership either... one advantage i see is that the NFL wouldn't be having the power to move the team ala Baltimore Colts or the Cleveland Browns... I am willing to bet that as long as the NFL is in existence, the GB packers will be there always...
Just too bad that they won tonight...
02-08-2011, 09:47 AM
DId anyone know the NFL actually forbids any other NFL franchise to be a public ownership? It seems non-profit ownership isn't what the NFL wants
Profits stay in the organisation. No-one takes out more than a salary.
As for highway robbery, not true. The buyers knew what they were getting, it was clearly stated in the prospectus. It's like having a star named after you - utterly worthless in financial terms, but if it makes you feel good, then it might be worth the money.
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