Reading up on the Packers “stock” sale put it in my mind to wonder aloud what it would look like if the Bears did something similar.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to save billionaire owners from spending their own money and making improvements themselves. Ownership should be footing the bill on stadium projects that are beneficial to the fans who come out and everything else that goes with operating a football team. And all without public money, too. Even with that being said, I feel as if everyone has a price point they would be comfortable meeting in order to make their in-stadium experience that much better, or perhaps unique to the holder of that stock. At minimum, I’d consider it at the right price.
But I digress. If only to share Chicago Ald. George Cardenas taking the idea of team stock and putting it on an entirely different plane of existence:
— Fran Spielman (@fspielman) November 16, 2021
Cardenas wants to get the ball rolling on a study to learn whether or not it is possible for the city to try and purchase the Chicago Bears. And from there, sell team “stock” (like the Packers) to fans — perhaps as some sort of crowdsourcing mechanism.
On the one hand, this is bold thinking. The type of bold thinking that should be applicable to other issues the city has on its hands. Because if we, as a city, can be bold enough to dive into the possibility of being a football team and selling “stock” to help fund the deal, then we (as a city) can come through with all sorts of innovations to keep things moving forward (Michael: I think you’re describing optional taxes, but go on.)
But on the other hand, there is no way the NFL would allow this to go down. So what’s even the point of entertaining such an idea? The Packers ownership model was grandfathered ages ago. Meanwhile, let’s not overlook the optics of the city thirsting over buying out a family-owned business. And let’s not forget about how the Bears were recently valued by Forbes at north of $4 billion. That type of money doesn’t grow on trees in this city. And even if it did, we wouldn’t be privy to where we could find said trees.
Then again, there has been chatter about the McCasakey family debating a sell of the team sooner than we’d otherwise think. So, take that for whatever it is worth.
In the end, part of me appreciates that the city is floating this idea. Mostly because it serves as a reminder that Chicago would like to keep the Bears from leaving for the suburbs. And, who knows, maybe this show of interest will be useful down the line when the NFL expands to 40 teams and the city wants to prove it could generate enough interest to have two teams so close together.
Hey, don’t give me that look. We’ve seen wackier things happen.