GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers fans are buying up the team's history and plunking down money to be part of it.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy in his monthly Murphy Takes 5 column reported on stock sales and sales of the four-volume team history, "The Greatest Story in Sports."
Murphy wrote that as of Dec. 31 the team had sold 182,054 shares of stock at $300 each, plus a $35 handling fee. That's $61 million in the Packers' coffers, including the handling fee.
The team raised about $67 million during its previous stock sale in 2011-12, when it sold 250,000 shares at $250 each, plus handling fee.
The Packers say the money will go toward $250 million in Lambeau Field projects, including concession stands renovation and new digital video scoreboards. NFL rules prohibit the money being used for football operations or player salaries.
Murphy said shares of the stock were sold to 164,920 buyers, which means the majority of people bought one share. Before this sale, which began Nov. 16, the team reported 361,300 shareholder accounts owning about 5 million shares.
The team authorized the sale of 300,000 shares through Feb. 25.
The sale was approved by regulators in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the American territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Canada.
Packers stock does not pay dividends and cannot be resold. Shareholders have voting rights, which they can exercise at the annual meeting in July. Mostly, they get to vote for the team's board of directors.
Previous stock sales were in 1923, 1935, 1950, 1997 and 2011. The first three sales bailed the team out of dire financial straits. The 1997 sale helped pay for the 2003 renovation of Lambeau Field and the 2011 sale contributed to more renovations, as will this sale.
Also, Murphy said the team sold nearly all of its 10,000 sets of Cliff Christl's four-volume history of the Packers and ordered a second printing.
Christl believes he told all the stories that needed to be told about the Packers' first 100 years and that he demolished the pervasive myths that had grown up around the Packers without doing damage to the most unique story in professional sports.
"This is not just a history of the Packers. It’s a history of the city that supported the team and the people here and its fans," Christl said.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay Packers stock, history books selling briskly