They’re not really selling stock. They’re passing the hat. And on the first day of doing so, the hat filled up quickly.
Via the Green Bay Press Gazette, the Packers on Tuesday sold 83,000 of 300,000 available shares. That’s $24.9 million in free money.
And even though it’s a donation with a piece of memorabilia attached to it (there’s also a $35 “handling fee” for each certificate issued), fans can choose to spend their money however they want. Frankly, it’s far better to have the team’s fans give money voluntarily than for billionaire owners to use threats of relocation to compel politicians to find a way to use taxpayer money to pay for stadium construction and/or renovation without a public vote. Because whenever there’s a public vote on using taxpayer money to finance a football stadium it fails. Because most people in a given community don’t care enough about the football team to pay for a local football factory at which the local football owner will make even more billions.
It’s ultimately no different than the concept of the Personal Seat License. It’s money for nothing, a cash grab made by football teams because they can. Because fans are sufficiently fanatical to stuff their discretionary income into the fully-stocked coffers of oligarchs who realize that there’s indeed a sucker born every nanosecond.
Football fans are self-admitted suckers. I’m one of them. But for that bizarre threat of a fine of up to $500,000 for criticizing the NFL or anyone connected to it, my $335 would be among the money the Packers made yesterday. It still may happen, bizarre threat of a half-million-dollar fine for daring to criticize anything about the NFL be damned.
At least when it comes to the Packers, there’s no billionaire behind the curtain who will siphon profits to buy a megayacht.