GREEN BAY - As soon as the stock went on sale Tuesday morning, a handful of faithful Packers fans gathered in the Lambeau Field atrium. They scooped up information on the first sale since 1997.
"I passed it up, when they did it here, the last one. And I wasn't going to miss this one," said Lloyd Wells, who drove from Oshkosh for the sale.
Wells says he's buying one share for himself, and another as a gift.
"If you live here and you watch the Packers every Sunday and you pray for them to win and to own a piece of the action, I think it's great. It's just heart-throbbing, you know, it's moving," said Wells.
Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy says there are 250,000 shares available this time. Each share sells for $250. There's also a $25 handling fee per order.
"The budget goal is to try to match what we had last time. But, hopefully, we will be able to exceed that," said Murphy.
Murphy says in 1997, the Packers sold 120,000 of the 400,000 shares available. That raised around $22 million for the previous renovations to Lambeau Field. Murphy thinks sales will be good, as the team is again coming of a Super Bowl victory.
"I think the reason that our fans are so supportive and so loyal to the team is our ownership structure. They literally have a vested interest in the team, so the connection and bond that our fans have with the team are stronger than fans that any other team have, and I believe that this stock offering and this sale will strengthen that," said Murphy.
Fans say purchasing stock this time around gives them an added sense of pride, because they're helping to fund renovations and expansions here at Lambeau Field.
"Nothing's easy today, and to know that you helped the process whatever little bit you've done, it's great," said Wells.
For fans, the owner's share certificate represents more than just a stock purchase. It's their little piece of Packers history that will last as long as Lambeau Field.
There are some things you should know about the sale:
Shares can be purchased either online or by mail. Only one name can be on the share; however, there is an exception for spouses. You can give the shares as gifts, but after purchased they can only be transferred within the immediate family.
The sale runs through February. The team says that could be extended if need be.
The money raised will help pay for the south end zone renovation, which has a $140 million price tag.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, the Packers announced the web address for the stock sale. It is PackersOwner.com.
For those who don't have access to the internet, the Packers also are providing a toll-free number. It's 1-855-8-GO-PACK.
At a news conference Tuesday, the team said it took 1,600 stock orders in the first 11 minutes of the sale. Later on a radio program, Murphy said the team had sold 28,000 in the first two and a half hours.
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