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Dec 27, 2012 7:53pm
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MILWAUKEE —When teams like the St. Michael Turner Jersey . Louis Rams and
Minnesota Vikings want new or upgraded stadiums, they face all sorts of
financing hurdles, from skeptical civic leaders to tightfisted taxpayers and
lawmakers—and sometimes all of the above. Its not that complicated in
Titletown. In a clear example of how rabid their cheesehead fans are, the Green
Bay Packers have raised $67 million the past six weeks by selling shares of
stock for $250 apiece. The stock has no cash value, but it does grant
shareholders the official privilege of calling themselves owners of the NFLs
only publicly owned team. “This was an opportunity that we were not going to
pass up,” said Connie Overmier, 60, a Packers fan and Wisconsin native who lives
in Ossian, Ind. “Its the Packers. I want to be an owner. I want to be a part of
them.” Other teams can only wish their financial issues were as easy to resolve.
The Rams just rejected a $124 million proposal from St. Louis officials to make
stadium improvements that would have cost taxpayers about $60 million, and the
Vikings are currently wrangling with Minnesota leaders over a new $975 million
stadium that could involve nearly $550 million in taxpayer contributions. When
the Packers decided to upgrade Lambeau Field—a $143 million effort to add
6,700 additional seats, high-definition video screens and a new entrance by next
year—they resolved not to ask for a single taxpayer dime. Instead, they
reverted back to the same strategy that has helped keep the Packers afloat
several times in team history—a stock sale. The latest offering wrapped up
Wednesday. More than 268,000 shares were sold, bringing in millions. “I was
really pleased with the way our fans responded,” Mark Murphy, the teams
president and CEO, said Thursday. “I was a little surprised, to be honest, but
on the other hand Im never surprised by the passion and loyalty of our fans.”
The Packers added more than 250,000 new shareholders and now has more than
360,000 part-owners. Fans have said spending $250 on a stock share isnt much
different from spending hundreds on team jerseys or other paraphernalia. Others
love that theyre helping their team stay strong in the leagues smallest market.
The Packers initially offered 250,000 shares for sale starting Dec. 6. But the
allotment went quickly, with 185,000 shares alone sold within the first 48
hours. So the team made another 30,000 available. About half the sales came from
Wisconsin. Sales were also brisk in the home states of two of the teams top
rivals, the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. Packers stock isnt like regular
stock. Its value doesnt increase, there are no dividends, it has virtually no
re-sale value and it doesnt give buyers any advantage over the 93,000 people on
the waiting list for season tickets. What buyers do get is a piece of paper
declaring them a team owner and conferring rights to attend and vote at the
annual stockholder meeting, which is held at Lambeau Field each summer before
training camp. They also get access to a special line of shareholder apparel.
Overmier, the Packers fan and new owner, said she hasnt had an moment of buyers
remorse. She and her husband own more than 600 pieces of Packers paraphernalia
—pillows, stuffed animals, even a birdhouse—and even with her husband out
of work for 2 1/2 years, she said they had to add a stock share to their
collection. Murphy said the ability to buy shares over the Internet, coupled
with the teams 13-0 start last season, helped drive the avalanche of sales. With
all of the new owners, shareholders will be asked to RSVP an invitation to the
next shareholders meeting so the team can arrange to accommodate all the
additional attendees, Murphy said. About 50 per cent of the new shareholders
were from Wisconsin. Illinois and California tied for second, each accounting
for about 8.5 per cent of sales. Minnesota and Texas were next with 5 per cent
each. Murphy said he wasnt surprised by the geographic distribution of sales,
especially in California. He recalled that when the Packers played in San Diego
last season, there were so many noisy Green Bay fans that the Chargers had to
use a silent count at home. “Ive never seen that happen before,” he said. He
also noted that fans across the country often tell him the Packers are their
second-favourite team. “I was in Dallas and people would say, Im a huge Cowboys
fan but I really like the idea of the Packers—a small-market team,
community-owned. I think that appeals to a lot of people,” he said. Stock sales
were initially limited to U.S. residents. The team eventually resolved Canadian
regulatory requirements earlier this month, giving fans there nine days to buy.
The team says about 2,000 shares were sold north of the border. The team has had
four other stock offerings. Sales in 1923, 1935 and 1950 helped keep the Packers
afloat at a time when other small-market teams were struggling to survive. A
fourth sale was held in 1997. Brett Favre Falcons Jersey . Sports Minister
Valerie Fourneyron was quoted in sports daily LEquipe on Friday as saying “no
member of the government will attend matches in Ukraine” to protest the
treatment of the jailed former prime minister Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year
jail term on charges of abuse of office, condemned as politically motivated by
the West. Julio Jones Elite Jersey . The incident
occurred when Lewis and his older brother were locked out of their hotel room.
Lewis was released after his arraignment and his brother was being held in
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. You can see the game on TSN beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt and join our Game Night
blog to chat with other hockey fans during the game. Toronto is off to a 4-0-1
start in 2011-12 and the Leafs are coming off Wednesdays home win over Winnipeg.
Matt Ryan Black Jersey . The Heat had Bosh on
their active roster for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the
Boston Celtics tonight, after the All-Star forward missed nine games with a
strained lower abdominal muscle. Tony Gonzalez Youth Jersey . He did it 10
years ago, when 70-1 Sarava charged to victory in the Belmont Stakes as War
Emblem was attempting to complete a rare sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness
and Belmont. ANAHEIM, Calif. —Alberto Callaspos teammates chased him from
first base into left field while fireworks exploded above Angel Stadium,
smacking the pinch-hitting hero on his back until he was sore. “I was hurt,”
Callaspo said with a grin. “Thats OK. Id take 20 like that.” The Los Angeles
Angels are getting pretty good at celebrations during a 13-3 surge that gets
them closer to the post-season with each big finish. Callaspo drove home
pinch-runner Peter Bourjos with a two-out single in the ninth inning, and the
Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Friday night for their ninth win in 10 games.
Kendrys Morales had a triple, a double and a one-out single that started the
ninth-inning rally for the Angels, who moved just two games behind Baltimore in
the AL wild-card race. “Were just playing together, trying to do all the little
things,” Callaspo said. “Well keep playing together and see what happens in the
end.” Erick Aybar beat out a slow two-out grounder against Octavio Dotel (5-3),
advancing Bourjos to second. Callaspo then pinch-hit for slumping All-Star
Mark Trumbo and drove a rolling grounder past diving Detroit shortstop
Jhonny Peralta into left field, scoring the speedy Bourjos. Torii Hunter and
Howie Kendrick drove in first-inning runs for the Angels (75-63), who moved a
season-high 12 games over .500. They also closed the gap on the Orioles (77-61)
for the second wild-card spot, with Tampa Bay (76-62) in between and Oakland
(77-60) just a half-game in front of Baltimore. Max Scherzer pitched eight
dominant innings of five-hit ball while taking over the major league lead with
nine more strikeouts for the Tigers, but Ervin Santana matched him with 6 2-3
innings of four-hit ball and 10 strikeouts for the Angels. Detroit couldnt do
much against four relievers, setting up Callaspos heroics. “Scherzer is tough,”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Hes been tough on us all year, but Ervin
matched him pitch for pitch. It took a couple of relievers to do it, too, and in
the ninth, we got the big hit.” Prince Fielder and Alex Avila homered as Detroit
wasted a chance to pull even atop the AL Central with Chicago, which lost 7-5 to
Kansas City. The Tigers (73-64) also opened a 10-game trip by losing ground on
the Angels and the Rays in the wild-card race. “We had an opportunity, and it
was a terrific major league baseball game, well played by everybody,” Detroit
manager Jim Leyland said. “We had our shot. Thats all you can ask for. ... Weve
got to go win games, simple as that. Youre not goinng to back into anything. Julio Jones Red Jersey. quot; Ernesto Frieri
(3-0) pitched the ninth for the Angels, striking out Avila to strand speedy
pinch-runner Quintin Berry on second. Scherzer was outstanding yet again for the
Tigers, allowing just two hits over seven consecutive scoreless innings without
a walk after Los Angeles scored twice in the first. He racked up his 10th
consecutive start with at least eight strikeouts and retired the final seven
batters he faced, taking over the majors strikeouts lead with 213 to 209 for
teammate Justin Verlander, who faces Los Angeles on Saturday night. Scherzer is
unbeaten since July 30, although his five-start winning streak ended. “I was
commanding the strike zone, and thats when I usually have success,” said
Scherzer, who matched his longest start of the season. “Minus the first inning,
I pitched pretty well. ... Thats a great ballclub over there. Theyre good
hitters, so credit to them for putting together some good at-bats.” Santana
stepped in for ace Jered Weaver with another superb start in his late-season
surge. Santana has been outstanding over his last eight starts, but still leads
the majors with 34 homers allowed after giving up two more to the Tigers. The
Angels stuck to their recent theme of early runs against Scherzer. Mike Trout
hit a leadoff double and scored on Hunters single, and Albert Pujols scored
moments later on Morales double and Kendricks RBI groundout. Fielder answered in
the second inning with his 25th homer into the right-field corner, and Avila
evened it with another shot to right in the third. Santana passed the Yankees
Phil Hughes for the major league lead in homers allowed. Scherzer struck out
five straight Angels starting in the second inning, and he took the strikeouts
lead in the sixth by throwing 99-mph fastball past Pujols, whose 14-game hitting
streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance. Scherzer retired 16 of 17 Angels until
Morales two-out triple off the centre-field wall in the sixth, but stranded him
by striking out Kendrick. NOTES: Detroits Ryan Raburn grounded out to the mound
on the first pitch he saw as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning in his first
game back from sprained right thumb. Raburn hadnt played for the Tigers since
July 31. ... Trumbo was dropped to seventh in the order, and the badly slumping
All-Star went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before getting pulled for Callaspo.
Trumbo is in an 0-for-15 skid. ... Morales triple was his first since June 2009,
and just the fourth of his career. The Cuban slugger missed most of the past two
seasons with a leg injury. ’ ’ ’ 

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