Green Bay Packers Sell Shares To Raise Cash
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Here in the United States it's been a brutal year for the stock market. Every time the market has plunged, it's been hard to believe things could really be that bad. Every time it has soared, it's been hard to believe things could really be so good. Today, stock traders have an opportunity for an unusual investment, one that is hard to value at all. This kind of stock rarely goes on sale, doesn't pay dividends, but offers you a chance to own a slice of the NFL's undefeated Green Bay Packers. Here's Wisconsin Public Radio's Patty Murray.
PATTY MURRAY, BYLINE: The National Football League doesn't allow corporate ownership of its teams except for the packers. The team is so old its ownership structure was grandfathered in. That means every now and then it can sell stock. For only the fifth time since the 1920's shares go on sale today. Outside the teams home, Lambeau Field, Jerry Zellner bought his tickets for the NFC playoffs. He already owns stock from a previous sale, and says he'll buy at least one more share.
JERRY ZELLNER: Everybody wants to be part of the Packers, and I think it's good that they help the team out. You can always brag and say that you're a stockholder.
MURRAY: Bragging rights are about all you'll get besides a certificate to hang on the wall. The shares costs $250 a piece, and the Packers are issuing 250,000 shares in the hopes of raising $60 million to help pay for stadium improvements. With an undefeated season, the timing couldn't be better. While $250 is a chunk of change, fans like Kristen Mossing know lots of people who want to buy a share.
KRISTEN MOSSING: My fiance plans to, my future parents-in-law plan to, everyone plans to, so.... I know people that they have them hanging in their basements, and they have Packer shrines. It's different in Green Bay, so we're able to sell stocks and I think it will be a huge success.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What they're really getting is souvenir.
KEVIN QUINN ST. NORBERT COLLEGE: Kevin Quinn is an economics professor at St. Norbert College near Green Bay. He equates the cost of a stock certificate to that of a quality team jersey or jacket. You can't wear it, the stock doesn't pay dividends and you get only very limited voting rights, but so what.
Why does anybody buy anything? I mean, why does anybody buy Ugg boots?
MURRAY: And not every fan is ready to invest. Rob LeMay says Packers stock won't be in his future.
ROB LEMAY: I Love the Packers, but $250 for a novelty to hang on my wall? I don't know.
MURRAY: The sale is open until the end of February, or as they say, while supplies last. For NPR News I'm Patty Murray in Green Bay.
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