A sometimes-Green Bay Packers fan gets a lesson in love
The Green Bay Packers Shareholders Meeting is not a very exclusive affair. There are 363,948 owners of the publicly owned NFL franchise, and they were all invited to Green Bay, Wis., in late July. Just over 14,700 showed up. Nearly all wore green and gold, and a good percentage sported yellow foam cheese hats.
Other professional sports franchises may claim the best fans, but only the Packers are owned by the fans. When the team sold 269,000 shares to finance improvements to Lambeau Field, a friend of mine tackled a $250 stock certificate for his Virginia office wall. The only extra point to owning the stock – it pays no dividends – is receiving tickets to the annual meeting. I scored my friend's unused tickets.
Lambeau Field is very modern for a storied stadium where Bart Starr and Brett Favre played. From the new end zone bleachers, the unnaturally green field looked smaller than it does on TV.
The business meeting was a series of reports on the last and next seasons, a lot of cheerleading, and inspirational videos on the Jumbotrons purchased with the franchise's fifth stock offering since 1923. When the accountant climbed the stage, a flood of green jerseys cut for the exits, the gift shop, and the best bratwursts and beer in Wisconsin.
You don't have to wait for a shareholders' meeting to visit Lambeau Field. Call 920/569-7513 or go to www.packers.com/lambeau-field/stadium-tours.html for a tour schedule.
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