Want to own a piece of history? All you need is $250 and an intense passion for the Green Bay Packers.
The defending NFL champion – America’s only publicly owned professional sports franchise – is selling 250,000 shares of itself in what is the fifth public stock offering in the team’s 92-year history. A share in the Green Bay Packers, who are currently 12-0 and bidding to become just the second team ever to win a Super Bowl without a single loss, costs $250 and can be purchased online or by mail.
What does owning stock in the Green Bay Packers get you? Not much, other than a share in one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. The Packers do not pay dividends to their shareholders, the stock doesn’t appreciate in value, and it can’t be resold. Packers stock can only be passed on to family members.
Packers shareholders do get to vote on team business and attend annual meetings, however. Other than that, though, Packers stock is equivalent to owning a souvenir such as a team jersey.
The public sale began at 8 a.m. today. The Packers have been cleared to sell its stock in all 50 states. Funds raised in the public offering will help the team pay a $143 million expansion of famed Lambeau Field, where the team plays all its home games. The renovations will include new scoreboards, a new sound system and 7,000 extra seats at the stadium.
If the Packers reach their goal of selling 250,000 shares, they will raise $62.5 million. It’s not as unrealistic as it sounds. With a record 13 NFL championships and a rabid national following, few sports franchises are as recognizable or iconic as the Green Bay Packers. People have paid a premium for Packers stock before.
The last time the team held a public stock sale, during the 1997-98 season, it sold 120,000 shares at $200 a pop. The $24 million raised in that sale went toward a previous upgrade of Lambeau Field.
The team knows how to time its stock offerings. With an 18-game winning streak dating back to last season, the Packers have never been hotter. The last time they were this hot, Green Bay was again coming off a championship season and was on its way to appearing in another Super Bowl. That was in the 1997-98 season.
The Packers’ scorching performance on the field appears to again be translating to a hot stock: the team sold 1,600 shares in the first 11 minutes this morning. Like the team itself, the Packers stock is looking like a winner.