Monday, July 25, 2016

It Starts Tomorrow!

The 2016 football season starts bright and early on Tuesday morning. We will be there for the first practice, as we have been for many years. And, of course, we will have plenty of photos to share.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Oneida Street McDonald's

 
If you’ve been to Green Bay and have driven down Oneida Street towards Lambeau Field, you may have noticed — or have eaten at — the “Packers” McDonald’s restaurant. We are not sure when it converted to green and gold colors, but it has been that way for quite a long time. Apparently, they had to get special permission from the corporation to use Packers colors instead of the standard red and yellow. Well, as of Monday, July 25th, it will close and be demolished. There is no word if the new design will tie into the city’s football team or not. We decided to stop by on its last night of operation and take some photos for posterity.















Thursday, July 21, 2016

2016 Shareholders Meeting

 
Green Bay Packers Shareholders Meeting day at Lambeau Field began with a monsoon storm, but since it would take place rain or shine, it didn’t really matter. The meeting did start a half hour late, as they were waiting for lightning to leave the area before they let us into the stadium “bowl.”

Here are the views,  both ways, from our seats on about the 40 yard line.

The crowd was down a bit this year, mostly due to the weather, we imagine. 

Looking at the directors’ stage, with us seated a few rows above an entrance tunnel.

GM Ted Thompson gives the football report, which most see as the highlight. Also very interesting is the report by team president Mark Murphy about issues around the league and trends for the future. 

By the end of the meeting, the sun came out, and the heat rose to the levels they were predicting. 

The post-storm clouds this evening.

Some meeting notes:

• Thursday's shareholder turnout was smaller than normal because of predictions of high temperatures and a line of severe thunderstorms that moved through the area before the meeting. Rain delayed the meeting for a half hour, but it also made the temperature lower than the predicted 90 degrees with 105-degree heat index. The temperature was 75 degrees when the meeting started. About 8,200 people attended Thursday, compared to nearly 12,000 last year.

• The Packers have applied to be the host city for the NFL Draft in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The NFL selected Chicago to host the 2015 and 2016 drafts. Philadelphia currently appears to be the front-runner for 2017.

• The team will not participate in a game in China to open the 2018 season. They are open to playing in London, but will not sacrifice a home game to do so.

• The Tundra Tailgate Zone in the stadium parking lot will transition from a seasonal fixture to a permanent promenade in time for the 2017 season. Packers President Mark Murphy noted one contributing factor in the organization’s decision was the number of people who are coming to the stadium without tickets to simply watch games at the Tundra Tailgate Zone.

• One of the most popular announcements of the day was a partnership between the Packers and Patrick Cudahy on a new bacon-themed concession stand. It immediately was met with cheers.

• Murphy said the popularity of Lambeau Field continues to grow. Last year, a record 175,000 fans took stadium tours, topping by 40,000 the record set the year after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. He said the team is on track to top 175,000 this year.

• The Packers recapped a number of issues already reported, including record $408.7 million in revenue, community contributions and development of the 35-acre Titletown District, which will include Lodge Kohler hotel, Hinterland Brewery, a Bellin Health clinic and a public park and plaza. Also, shareholders approved adding Marcia Anderson to the board of directors, bringing the total to 43, as well as re-electing 14 others.

— Sources: Green Bay media and Packers.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Stock Certificates History

 
On the eve of the 2016 Green Bay Packers Shareholders’ Meeting, we thought we’d post photos of stock certificates from each of the team’s sales through their long and storied history. These are the stock certificates as displayed in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field. Above, we see a certificate from the first stock sale in 1923, where local merchants raised $5,000 by selling 1,000 shares for $5 apiece, with a stipulation that the purchaser also had to buy at least six season tickets.

The second stock sale, in 1935, raised $15,000 after the corporation had gone into receivership. At that point, the nonprofit Green Bay Football Corporation was reorganized as the Green Bay Packers, Inc., the present company, with 300 shares of stock outstanding. 

The third stock sale, in 1950, came on the heels of Curly Lambeau’s 30-year dominion, when the club’s officers arranged to amend the corporation’s bylaws to permit the sale of up to 10,000 total shares of stock (opening up more than 9,500 shares for purchase), to limit the number of shares that any individual could own. The team also increased the number of directors from 15 to 25.

The response to the 1950 drive was inspiring, with people from all across Wisconsin, as well as former Green Bay residents living in other states, coming forward to buy the $25 shares of stock. Roughly $50,000 was raised in one 11-day period alone. Reportedly, one woman from a farm near Wrightstown, Wis., showed up at the team’s offices with $25 worth of quarters in a match box. A total of about $118,000 was generated through this major stock sale, helping to put the Packers on a sound financial basis once again. 

The fourth stock sale came late in 1997 and early in 1998. It added 105,989 new shareholders and raised more than $24 million, monies which were utilized for the Lambeau Field redevelopment project. Priced at $200 per share, 120,010 shares were purchased by fans during the 17-week sale, which ended March 16, 1998. This is the sale in which we bought our shares.

With the NFL supporting the plan, the existing 1,940 shareholders overwhelmingly voted to amend the articles of the corporation on Nov. 13, 1997. The vote authorized the Packers to sell up to one million shares to raise funds for capital improvements, and existing stockholders received a 1,000-to-1 split on their original shares. Fans immediately were able to call a special toll-free number, or tap into the team’s website for information on how to buy the 400,000 shares made available to the public.

In the first 11 days, roughly one-third — or $7.8 million — of the total amount transacted was sold. Orders came in at a rate of 3,500 per day during this early period, generating about $700,000 each day.

Shares of stock were purchased by citizens from all 50 states, in addition to fans in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than half (53.6%) of the shares were bought by Wisconsin residents, followed by inhabitants of Illinois (8.0%), Minnesota (3.6%), California (3.1%), Florida (2.4%), Michigan (2.3%), Texas (2.1%) and Ohio (1.7%). 

The fifth stock sale occurred from December 2011 through February 2012 and saw more than 250,000 people purchase over 269,000 shares priced at $250 each and net more than $64 million. In an overwhelming response, fans purchased more than 185,000 shares in the first two days alone. In late December 2011, the team made an additional 30,000 shares available beyond the initial 250,000 to accommodate demand. Proceeds are going toward the 2011-2013 expansion of Lambeau Field.

For the first time, fans in Canada were able to purchase (2,000 did so) and joined fans from 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in supporting the team. Wisconsin residents purchased 28.2% of the shares, followed by those in California (7.7%), Illinois (6.6%), Texas (4.8%) and Minnesota (3.7%). Approximately 99% of the shares were purchased online.

Today, an annual meeting of shareholders is held each July. The event returned to Lambeau Field in 2006 after several thousand people were turned away from the 2005 meeting at the nearby Resch Center. As a means of running the corporation, a board of directors is elected by the shareholders. The board of directors in turn elects a seven-member Executive Committee (officers) of the corporation, consisting of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and three members-at-large. The president is the only officer who receives compensation. The balance of the committee is sitting gratis.

Shares of stock cannot be resold, except back to the team for a fraction of the original price. Limited transfer of shares (i.e., to heirs and relatives) is permissible.

*Information supplied by the 2015 Green Bay Packers Media Guide.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 NFL Previews

 
It’s that time again, football fans... the NFL preview magazines are out in anticipation of the start of Training Camp. We picked these up in Green Bay last weekend, and will share their outlook for the Packers. Above, is the cover of Athlon Sports Pro Football. Here are their predictions: 
   • Green Bay as 3rd Seed in NFC
   • Beating Vikings in Wild Card Round
   • Losing to Carolina in Divisional Round
   • Super Bowl: New England over Arizona

Lindy’s Sports Pro Football predictions: 
   • Win the NFC North
   • Losing to either Minnesota, Seattle, Dallas, or Arizona in playoffs
   • Super Bowl: Arizona over Cincinnati

Pro Football Weekly Preview predictions: 
   • Green Bay wins NFC North at 11-5
   • Losing in either Wild Card or Divisional Round
   • Super Bowl: New England over Seattle 

Sporting News Football Preview predictions: 
   • Green Bay wins NFC North
   • Beating Vikings in Divisional Round
   • Losing to Seattle in NFC Championship Game
   • Super Bowl: Pittsburgh over Seattle

We will head up for the Packers’ Shareholders’ meeting on July 21st, and stay for Training Camp until we leave for Canton and Brett Favre’s Hall of Fame induction on August 6th.

Monday, July 04, 2016

2016 NFL Rule Book

The Official 2016 Playing Rules of the National Football League book has been made public, for your holiday reading enjoyment. If you just want to hone your knowledge of the new rules for the coming season, page 2 has that summary. They are listed here:

1. It is now a delay of game penalty if a team is erroneously granted a timeout.

2. The offensive and defensive play callers can use the coach-to-helmet communications system regardless of whether the coach is in the booth or on the sideline.

3. There is no longer a five-yard penalty for illegally touching a pass after being out of bounds and then re-establishing inbounds, but it is a loss of down.

4. The line of scrimmage for extra point kicks is permanently the 15-yard line.

5. Touchbacks on kickoffs are now moved to the 25-yard line.

6. All chop blocks are illegal.

7. The horse-collar tackle rule now includes a defender grabbing the jersey at the name plate or above.

8. A player who gets two fouls for certain kinds of unsportsmanlike conduct is automatically ejected.

9. Multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession have been eliminated.

The full 2016 rule book is available as a PDF here.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Will He or Won’t He?


In the not too distant pass, remember when it was the ritual every year to wait and see if QB Brett Favre was going to return for another NFL season? ESPN decided to have fun with it one year, and we had to laugh when we saw this again...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Revival Continues

Not long ago, we posted the Spring 1992 “Packer Update,” and now we’re following up with the Spring 1993 version. This publication was sent to season ticket holders each year. A lot had changed from the season before — the optimistic uncertainty was now replaced with awards for GM Ron Wolf, Head Coach Mike Holmgren, and QB Brett Favre, and a free agent by the name of Reggie White had just joined the team. The Packers were celebrating the 75th anniversary that year, and everything was looking even more optimistic than the year before. Enjoy the look back!