Pack Sells Stock While Vikes Seek Tax Dollars

It’s a contrast in how to fund a stadium. Today the Green Bay packers are selling 250,000 shares of stock in its team to help finance $130 million in renovations to its stadium. Across the border in Minnesota, the Vikings will talk about how they need the state to help fund a new stadium for the team.

The Packers stock will likely sell out at $250 a share, but is worthless. It has no resale value and provides no dividends other than bragging rights. It’s not ownership in the official sense because the NFL prohibits public ownership. Despite all that, there were more than 1,600 orders for the stock in the first 11 minutes it was for sale this morning.

It’s the second time the Packers have offered stock in the team. The Packers are technically organized as a non-profit, public corporation and has had special league permission to conduct stock sales to raise capital.

During its last stock sale in 1997 the Packers sold 120,000 shares at $200 each. That brought its shareholder total to 112,205 and total shares to 4.75 million. The Packers are the NFL’s only publicly held (but not traded) team.

In Minnesota, 2012 will mark more than a decade of the Vikings lobbying the legislature for a new stadium. Like other states, Minnesota has had to slash services to stay solvent. The state’s finances showed a glimmer of hope with a projected surplus this month. By law, that surplus must first go to replenish the state’s reserves and then pay back millions of dollars borrowed from the state’s school districts.

However, the Vikings and owner Ziggy Wilf are still asking for public dollars to finance a $1.1 billion stadium. Today’s hearing focuses on possible revenue sources including gambling and a tax on professional sports tickets.

Click here to read our live blog and see an archive of the hearing

Highlights:

Vikings VP on the hotseat about stadium financing:

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says his city has narrowed stadium site selection to the current Metrodome site.