GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The Green Bay Packers stock offering, just the sixth in the team's history, will take place Tuesday. Click here to learn more.
Packers fans are some of the most dedicated fans in sports, but there's another level of commitment some choose to take when buying a stock that does not ever pay dividends to its owner.
"I think it kind of represents a way to connect with the team even further," Tom Grossi, a fan from New York said. "As someone who is a person not located in Wisconsin, and not able to go to Lambeau as frequently as I would like to, the kind of question – as you can see from all of this – the question that always gets asked is are you a shareholder? Are you a stock holder?"
The Packers' last stock offering went for $250 per share in 2011. 10 years later, there's a new group of fans eager to financially support their team.
"There's just a generation of fans that are now reaching like young adulthood that care a lot about this team and are now separate from their parents," Perri Goldstein of New York said. "It might be that their mom or dad bought stock, but it's not theirs, it's either for the family or it's their parents. And now they're in their mid to late-twenties like I am, or early thirties even, and 10+ years ago, it wasn't feasible but they feel like now they want something for themselves."
"I had no way to actually afford stock while I was going to school, paying for gas, paying for books and all the stuff that comes with it so when I found out they were doing it again I figured yeah, I would jump on it," Maggie Loney of Kenosha said.
Many critics around the NFL are quick to remind Packers' stockholders that they in fact do not earn dividends or own the team with authority. For others, it's a priceless piece of paper, framed and passed down for generations.
"I think it's hard for people to understand if they're not Packer fans," Loney said. "I get if I was a fan of another NFC North team, I probably wouldn't get it either, or any other NFL team in general. But I think to me, it's more about what the fans mean to the team and vice versa. Just knowing all the hard times the Packers went through and being so invested in the Packers from the way that it bonds me with my family and friends – I got married there – like I care about Lambeau so much that if there's something I can do to help support the long-term interests of the team, I would be happy to do that."
While there has been a 0.5% sales tax in Brown County that goes toward the Green Bay-Brown County Professional Football Stadium District since 2000 and voted on regularly, funds raised through the team's stock offerings is earmarked for stadium projects that benefit the fan experience, per NFL requirements.
"I think that there are plenty of people who hate on this and want to judge people for what they spend their money on, which is weird in and of itself," Grossi said. "But I think it's a matter of people also don't realize the implications from an economic standpoint
it does for the city. Look at all these stadiums that cost billions and billions of dollars in taxpayer money."
The Packers say more information will be available Tuesday. Preliminary information on the cost and restrictions on buying the shares is available on the Packers website.