Green Bay Packers begin selling 'stock'
What do you get from owning a share in the team? Maybe the bigger issue is what you don't get.
About 1,600 online orders came in the first 11 minutes, slowing down the website and frustrating some buyers, the team said. It was the team's first stock sale in 14 years and the fifth in its history.
But there isn't much here that resembles stock. In fact, the team even admits that its common stock "does not constitute an investment in 'stock' in the common sense of the term."
What that means is this: No dividends. No price appreciation. No profit potential. No tax deduction. A limitation of 200 shares per person. No real resale value. Extremely limited transfer rights. And no game tickets, either.
In fact, the $250 per share price tag -- along with the hefty $25 shipping and handling fee -- pretty much gets you a nice certificate and entry into the team's annual shareholders meeting. You get voting rights, but what shareholders will vote on is unclear. Maybe the first voting question will be "Is this team awesome or what?"
The last time the Packers sold stock was in 1997, when it raised $24 million to update Lambeau Field, Bloomberg reports. The team has some 112,000 shareholders owning 4.75 million shares. This time, the Packers want to raise as much as $62.5 million, much of which will go to the $130 million expansion of Lambeau Field.
So who would buy this stock? Die-hard football fans who can say they are a part-owner of a team. And what better time to offer shares than now, when the Super Bowl champs are undefeated with a jaw-dropping winning streak?
And taxpayers can be happy about this: Instead of going to the city or state for a handout, the Packers are asking fans to help pay for Lambeau's expansion.
"It's not the worst thing you could spend your money on," economist Kevin Quinn told the Green Bay Press Gazette. "You'd spend the same amount of money on a team jacket and you can't pass that on to the kids."
There's a sucker born every minute, unless you're talking about Green Bay, where apparantly the frequency is somewhat higher.
In fact, the $250 per share price tag -- along with the hefty $25 shipping and handling fee -- pretty much gets you piece of paper and entry into the team's shareholders meeting.
This is a great opportunity to "give back" to a sport that has given so much to so many. I'm a MN Viking Fan who grew up in Wisconsin. Many of my friends are Packer fans and over the years we've had great experiences watching the Packer/Viking games live at Lambeau Field or on television. I love the Packer fans. I love watching the Vikings beat the Packers! I LOVED watching Favre beat the Packers in Green Bay as the Viking QB. Having said all this, I go back to my first sentence. The Packers, the Community of Green Bay, the State of Wisconsin, and the FANS of football are investing in providing the best place to watch the game played. I'll wear my Viking jersey proudly the next time I'm in Green Bay, but I want to let the Packer fans know that I appreciate everything that organization has done for the game of football and the NFL. I bought a share for myself, a friend, and my stepson. Go Pack Go!
Scam? How is it a scam when the team is upfront about what you can and can't do as a stock owner? Would you rather they pass a tax levy and make everyone pay for the renovations? It's a genius idea.
Geez, the Packers could discover the cure for AIDS and people would still bag on them. So instead of forcing the taxpayers (some of whom may not even be fans) to pay for stadium upgrades (hello, MN Vikings), they are asking true and diehard fans to purchase stock to help their team. The fact that the stocks will not make money for the "investor" is clearly disclosed. In return for their "investment" the buyer becomes part owner of the only team that is, has been, or ever will be publicly owned. It's not about making money for the fans. It's about being a part of something incredible, which is this storied football team.
Anyone considering the purchase of Packers stock should not purchase the stock to make a profit or to receive a dividend or tax deduction or any other economic benefits.
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