ND Expert: Green Bay Packers stock sale an “investment scam”

Author: Shannon Chapla

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The Green Bay Packers, the country’s only publicly owned professional sports franchise, today began selling shares to help pay for $143 million in stadium expansion and improvement projects, and University of Notre Dame Finance Professor Richard Sheehan, who specializes in the economics of sports, says “This stock sale is pretty much a scam from an investment perspective.”

The author of “Keeping Score: The Economics of Big-Time Sports,” Sheehan says, “For $250, you can own one share out of more than 4 million and you can’t purchase more than 200 shares. You receive a stock certificate and the right to vote at the annual meeting, but you can’t amass enough shares to give you any meaningful say in the franchise’s decisions. You won’t receive any game tickets, dividends, or guarantee the share will be worth any more at any point in the future.”

Sheehan says fans are effectively financing the stadium renovation through a stock offering he calls “possibly one of the worst of all times because it offers no meaningful input and no financial benefit.” Regardless, he says the Packers will raise a lot of cash.

“It’s like the old MasterCard ad: pair of Green Bay Packers tickets, $200; share of Green Bay Packers stock, $250; being a Green Bay Packers stockholder, priceless!”