Only the Green Bay Packers have a public ownership structure, via stock that isn’t actually stock because it has no appreciating value and can’t be re-sold. Which makes it the ultimate money-for-nothing vehicle for raising money from fans who want to be technically accurate when they refer to the team as “we.”
For Packers fans who don’t already have a worthless piece of paper that says they own something that can’t be owned like shares in corporations with shares traded on the open market, they won’t be able to buy the suitable-for-framing evidence of non-ownership until the league allows them to do it again. Packers CEO Mark Murphy recently explained how it works in his latest Q&A session on the team’s official website.
“I do not anticipate another stock sale in the near future,” Murphy said. “Any future stock sales would have to be approved by the League. Since the other teams in the League cannot conduct stock sales, the concern is that we would be at a competitive advantage if we were able to conduct stock sales on a regular basis to operate the organization. For this reason, the proceeds from any stock sale have to go directly into the stadium. If you look back over our history, we hold stock sales every 15 to 20 years. By the late 2020s, I would say that Lambeau Field would be ready for another major renovation!”
Murphy’s answer, which didn’t address the portion of the question that said “I know it really doesn’t hold any true value,” raises a point that the NFL should explore when it comes to raising money for other team stadiums in the future. Why not allow other teams to sell a small piece of their equity via non-stock stock that would give fans a chance to buy a non-piece piece of the team?
Currently, teams that need new or upgraded stadiums try to get the politicians to kick in taxpayer money. Why not go directly to the taxpayers with one hand open and the other hand holding sheets of paper telling them they own something that they don’t actually own?
As places like South Florida commencing the process of stiff-arming billionaires who want a little welfare, it makes sense to go straight to fans who would be honored to give up even more of their money in order to keep the team in town. It’s safe to say that plenty of teams would be in favor of doing that.