How much do you really know about the Packers’ impact on the economy?
There’s been a lot of important economic news lately – the most recent national jobs numbers look pretty good, the Eurozone continues to wobble, and Iran is threatening access to shipping lanes in the strait of Hormuz, making investors and the rest of the Western world nervous.
But as I am, come NFL playoff time, a provincial corn-pone churl whose sphere of interest shrivels to roughly the size of my basement TV screen, I decided to go with the football flow. Indeed, the only supply line I’m worried about right now is the one running from my couch to my refrigerator. If that gets threatened, reprisals are certain.
That said, this is still a business blog, so I decided to put together a quick quiz about the Green Bay Packers’ impact on the economy. If you get every question right, I will send you a share of Packers stock, or its resale value.
1. The local economic impact of each Packers home game is:
a) $12.3 million
b) $7.5 million
c) $6.8 million
d) $1 million
Answer: $12.3 million, which generates more than enough tax revenue to pay for the municipal beautification efforts the city of Green Bay launched in 1988 to distract attention from Larry McCarren’s pinky. (Incidentally, Larry McCarren’s pinky has not one but two Facebook fan pages dedicated to it, here and here. As of this writing, yours truly is a proud member of both.)
2. According to a study by the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District, the annual economic impact of Lambeau Field is:
a) $60 million
b) $127 million
c) $282 million
d) $459 million
Answer: $282 million, or enough to buy every man, woman, and child in Green Bay 270 12 packs of Miller High Life. The money doesn’t go toward that, of course. They must also purchase nachos.
3. According to Forbes, where do the Packers rank in the NFL in terms of franchise value?
Answer: With a franchise value of $1.08 billion, the Packers are the ninth most valuable NFL team, just behind the Chicago Bears, which are valued at $1.09 billion. Then again, it has to be worth at least $10 million not to have Jay Cutler as your quarterback. The Dallas Cowboys rank first at $1.85 billion, though much of that can be attributed to the rich mineral deposits recently discovered on Jerry Jones. The Jacksonville Jaguars rank last, at $725 million.
4. The Packers’ most recent stock offering – the fifth in the team’s history – has raised at least $62.5 million (an initial offering of 250,000 shares times $250 per share) and is still going. How did the Packers’ last stock sale, in 1997, compare?
a) Buoyed by the Packers’ first championship in three decades, it was much bigger.
b) It was just slightly bigger.
c) It was slightly smaller.
d) It was much smaller, less than half the size.
Answer: It was much smaller. In 1997, the Packers offered 400,000 shares of stock at $200 per share, but sold less than a third of those, raising $24 million.
5. According to the Packers’ bylaws, if the team is ever sold, the proceeds of the sale will:
a) Be split up among the remaining NFL teams.
b) Be distributed to Curly Lambeau’s remaining heirs.
c) Be given to a local American Legion post to be used for a soldiers’ memorial.
d) Be given to the Green Bay Packers Foundation, a local charity.
e) Be put in a UW research fund, half of which will go toward building a superconducting supercollider designed to reveal a glimpse of the elusive Higgs boson, resolving some of the deepest, most intractable, and most ancient mysteries of the universe, and half of which will go toward discovering why Green Bay TV stations still air polka shows on Sunday mornings.
Answer: Before 1997, when the team’s bylaws were changed, the proceeds would have gone to Green Bay’s Sullivan-Wallen American Legion Post 11 for use in a memorial. If the team were sold today, the proceeds would go to the Green Bay Packers Foundation.
6. In 1970, the average NFL player salary was:
e) $1 million
Answer: $23,000. In today’s dollars, that would be in the low six figures, but it’s nothing compared to current player salaries. Indeed, $23,000 is pocket change to an NFL star. For instance, after Ndamukong Suh stomped on Evan Dietrich-Smith’s arm on Thanksgiving, that one incident cost him $164,000 (the equivalent of two game checks). In addition to that hit, the second-year pro has accumulated $42,500 in fines during his short career. I’m not sure what he earned by getting stomped in return by backup QB Matt Flynn in the season finale, but that’ll teach him for mocking Aaron Rodgers’ belt celebration.
7. Foamation, the company that makes cheeseheads, is starting a line of baked brie, Camembert, and vegan fromage-chapeaus to be sold exclusively at Whole Foods.
c) No, but it is launching a hat in the style of Venezuelan beaver cheese.
Answer: Not really, no. But it would be cool. According to manta.com, Foamation, the company that makes cheeseheads, has annual revenues of $1.5 million. Very impressive for a company that started as a lark. But it definitely has room to grow.