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Want To Own an NFL Team?
Published on October 11, 2011 by Sara Foss

I'm a Patriots fan, but I can see the appeal of owning a piece of the Green Bay Packers, the league's only publicly owned team.

This week, the team announced a stock sale; each share would likely cost $200 and include full voting rights. The sale will help fund $130 million in renovations at Lambeau Field, and it's refreshing to say a team raise money by offering people ownership rights, rather than threatening to move out of town unless taxpayers foot the bill for a rich person's vanity project.

According to the AP:

"The stock sale would be the fifth in Packers’ history. There are currently 112,205 shareholders who own a total of 4.75 million shares.

Just as businesses have to enter a quiet period before going public, the Packers say they can’t reveal much until regulatory issues are resolved.

'We intend to keep our fans informed of further developments to the greatest extent possible,' said Jason Wied, the team’s vice president of administration/general counsel.

If the team gets final approval, the stock sale could begin within weeks. Christmas shoppers take note, though: Shares of stock can’t be resold, and transfer of shares is generally limited to immediate relatives and heirs.

Nathan Bitzer, 36, is already a shareholder, but he plans to buy a share or two for his daughters, ages 3 and 4. The St. Paul, Minn., resident said being a part-owner is a fun privilege even if the share has no resale value.

'I put `NFL owner’ in my Facebook profile,' he said. 'It’s a pretty unique thing, even though I acknowledge it’s pretty useless. I mean, it’s not like I’m chumming with (Dallas Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones or (Minnesota Vikings owner) Zygi Wilf.'"

The Packers have been a publicly owned nonprofit corporation since 1923. The team held its first stock sale that year, followed by sales in 1935 and 1950 that helped keep the franchise afloat while other small-markets teams were going under."

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