The raw numbers are stunning, but the reasons behind them are not.
The Packers have sold more than 185,000 shares of team stock since Tuesday morning, already topping the last stock sale in 1997 by more than 50 percent. In terms of proceeds, the Packers have nearly doubled the previous sale, raising approximately $43 million dollars in the first 48 hours the stock was available.
Shares are $250 each and can be purchased by logging on to www.packersowner.com or by calling for an offering document at 1-855-8-GO-PACK.
"I'm never surprised by the passion and the loyalty of our fans," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said on Thursday. "Everybody in the organization is just ecstatic about the way this has gone."
Fourteen years ago, the Packers sold approximately 120,000 shares at $200 apiece over a 17-week period, netting roughly $24 million.
Money from the current stock sale will go toward funding the $143 million Lambeau Field improvement project that will include 6,700 new seats in the south end zone and new state-of-the-art video boards on both ends of the 54-year-old venue.
"We have often said that Lambeau Field is one of the best assets that the Packers organization has, and to be able to enhance that and ensure that it continues to not only be a great facility but to provide even a better home-field advantage and to help our team I think resonated with our fans," Murphy said.
This is the fifth stock sale in team history. The original allotment for this sale is 250,000 shares, and Murphy said the franchise would look into expanding that if necessary.
"At this point we're just going to wait and see how it plays out," Murphy said. "We're obviously very pleased that we're as close to that number as we are now."
Residents of all 50 states plus three territories have purchased shares. Murphy said Wisconsin, as usual, is leading the way, though he suggested that the overall percentage of shares sold in Wisconsin is down from last time, an indication of the power of online sales, the team's ever-growing fan base, and the popularity of the NFL as a whole.
The team's current success and the pre-holiday timing also are factors, as are former shareholders who now have an opportunity to pass along their symbol of loyalty to the franchise.
"I think a lot of our sales are coming from shareholders who are now buying shares for their sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters," Murphy said. "That's what I'm excited about as I look to the future, is we're adding now 185,000-plus additional shareholders (who) are going to have that strong bond with the organization that I think will benefit us for years to come."
Stock in the Packers does not constitute an investment in "stock" in the common sense of the term.
Anyone considering the purchase of Packers stock should not purchase the stock to make a profit or to receive a dividend or tax deduction or any other economic benefits. Additional coverage - Dec. 8