In a post last week, Scott Lewis advocated that the Chargers, in exchange for large taxpayer support of a new stadium, offer the city or residents an equity stake in the team.
In 1986 the Boston Celtics offered a portion of their equity as publicly traded stock in an initial public offering. When the present ownership group bought the team in 2003, they exercised a tender offer and converted the non-tendered shares to cash (taking the team private).
The Celtics now operate as privately-held limited liability corporation.
The Green Bay Packers have issued “stock” as well but since it is not publicly traded, does not pay a dividend, and can only be resold to the team at factional value it is much more akin to a donation to support a community asset. Packer fans DO get a very cool stock certificate and can go to the annual meeting.
Ownership of publically traded stock is more common among European Football clubs but, by no means, is the norm. One of the most famous to trade stock is Sheffield United.
In my own opinion, it is VERY doubtful that the NFL values being in San Diego so much that league rules would be relaxed, even if there was interest by the Chargers, to provide for this kind of ownership structure.
A more realistic position, I believe, would be for San Diego’s public participation, both direct and indirect, to the same level as being proposed in Santa Clara (approximately 15 percent of the estimated total cost with the team responsible for all overruns).
If the Yorks and 49er fans can shoulder $800 million of the costs for their stadium shouldn’t we expect close to the same deal here?