Full disclosure: I think the Green Bay Packers selling team stock – which can’t be sold or turn into profit by its buyer – is weird. The idea of buying stock that can’t be tuned into monetary value just doesn’t sit right with me. But this whole endeavor is a nice reminder that not everything of value has to be a money thing.
Hear me out:
Damn, that was quick. #Packers stock sale begins tomorrow, Nov. 16. Cost is $300 a share. 300,000 shares to be offered. Story to follow.
— RichRymanPG (@RichRymanPG) November 15, 2021
At $300 a pop, 300,000 shares of Packers stock could generate up to $90 million. Not a bad return on investment from the Green Bay end of things. But what do fans get in return? I mean, other than a piece of paper signifying “ownership” of the team. Well, they get something.
Reporting by the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Richard Ryman notes how the NFL requires money raised in stock sales can be used only for stadium projects that are beneficial to fans. The money can’t go into giving Davante Adams a fat new contract. It can’t get spent on new weight rooms, practice facilities, or things of that nature. The funds can’t go toward team operating expenses or to pad executive paychecks. Money coming from stock sales are to go into making the fan experience at Lambeau Field better. Full stop.
And now, I’m trying to figure out how the Bears can get in on such a racket.
The Packers are the only team that this stock sale applies to because they’re the league’s publicly owned team. But admit it. If you had an opportunity to make an investment that would ensure a better fan experience at Soldier Field, you’d do it right? At minimum, you’d think about it. Maybe not at the price point of $300, but everyone has a price. And to make your fan experience that much better, how could you say no?
Believe me, I already understand concerns about such a thing becoming A THING. Single-game and season-ticket prices are already high enough. And the cost of everything that goes into a full day at the stadium — seats, parking, food, drinks, souvenirs, tips, etc. — makes it difficult to justify spending more elsewhere. However, if you could guarantee that the money you were spending would go directly into making your fan experience incrementally better, wouldn’t you want to see how it could happen? I can only speak for myself, but I can’t imagine I’d be alone in wanting a better in-stadium experience.
And to be clear, this should be in addition to — and not in place of — what owners are already putting into stadium projects. Things are pricey as things currently stand now for fans. Asking them to take on more of the burden would be wrong. But if the Bears could give their fans something worthwhile — special access to a stadium club, a commemorative brick signed by a Hall of Famer or current star, or something else that is tangible and meaningful — the juice could be worth the squeeze. Otherwise, it would feel like a pure money grab. And no one is going for that right now.
The Bears aren’t a publicly owned team. So they can’t directly copy what the Packers are doing. But if they could find a way to do something similar with the same end game in mind, ownership should probably follow suit. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
If the #Bears sold fake stock, would you buy it?
— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) November 15, 2021