Can You Buy Green Bay Shares And Still Make NFL Bets?

Written By Russ Mitchell on November 16, 2021

The NFL will allow the publically-owned Green Bay Packers to conduct its sixth stock offering ever starting Tuesday. Fans have a rare chance to purchase Green Bay shares at $300 each.

But can new owners still place a bet on the Packers or other NFL teams at one of the 17 sportsbooks in Iowa?

Word from Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission (IRGC) administrator Brian Ohorilko on Monday is yes. Fans can still bet on the Packers or anyone else in the NFL. Their roles as “owners” won’t prevent that.

For starters, 300,000 shares are up for sale starting this week. It would be hard for sportsbooks to track everyone with Packers stock.

“In that particular situation, it would have to be someone who is a substantial owner. We don’t have specific rules or requirements. But someone who owned 1/1,000 of a percent of a company is probably a different consideration than someone who owns 5% of a professional sporting team.”

How to become a Green Bay Packers owner

NFL franchises are owed by deep-pocketed investors. The league allows occasional Green Bay stock offerings so the franchise can keep pace with its peers.

“We appreciate the interest that fans have expressed in our sixth stock offering,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement on the team’s official website.

  • The team will sell 300,000 Green Bay shares beginning at 8 a.m. in the Central time zone Tuesday.
  • Expect a handling fee with the $300 purchase.
  • The offering will continue until Feb. 25, unless the team opts to change the end date.
  • Sales are limited to no more than 200 shares per individual (or couple at the same address).
  • For now, sales are limited to residents in the US, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
  • Fans can become owners using credit and debit cards or electronic bank transfers online. Mailed personal checks and cashier’s checks are other options.
  • The team issues offering documents to its prospective shareholders.

Green Bay stocks aren’t a true investment for fans

Fans can say they backed the Pack with their pocketbooks, but that’s basically the extent of the benefits. Don’t buy Green Bay shares hoping for a say in the team’s first-round draft pick. Even Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have that.

Fans won’t own stock “in the common sense of the term,” according to the team. Stock offering participants shouldn’t expect any profit, dividend or tax deduction from their Green Bay shares.

The Packers don’t have an obligation to repay its investors either. Green Bay and the NFL “severely restrict” stock transfers as well.

The stock sale will be a franchise windfall

Green Bay collects $90 million if it sells all of the shares in the 2021-22 public share offering. That’s a far cry from the organization’s first stock sale in 1922. Back then, football boosters met at an Elks Club to bail the franchise out after a season of bad weather.

  • An April 12, 1950 stock drive balanced the books a second time in Green Bay. By the end of the decade, a NY Giants assistant named Vince Lombardi took over on-field operations.
  • Shareholders in 1997 approved 400,000 additional stock offerings at $200 per share to fund stadium expansions and facility upgrades.
  • A fifth stock offering — 250,000 shares at $250 each — paid for more upgrades at Lambeau Field and beyond.

About 361,000 people own 5 million shares of the franchise, according to the organization.

How to inspect your Packers ‘investment’ this week

  • What: Green Bay (8-2) at Minnesota (4-5)
  • When: Noon Sunday
  • Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
  • TV: Fox

Connections beyond Green Bay shares would be a problem

Ohorilko said Iowa sports betting companies are required to “employ reasonable steps to prohibit bets by “coaches, trainers, officials, players, or other individuals who participate in the sporting event.” Sport wagering companies in Iowa also have controls in place to report any betting irregularities.

“It … would be a situation where we would strongly look at the (sports)books and see what the books are doing to prevent wagering by individuals that may own (larger) parts of a team.”

Leagues worth betting on also have policies in place to protect the integrity of their events.

Photo by Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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