What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
When teams like the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings want new or upgraded stadiums, they face all sorts of financing hurdles, from skeptical civic leaders to tightfisted taxpayers and lawmakers and sometimes all of the above.
It’s not that complicated in Titletown.
In a clear example of how rabid their cheesehead fans are, the Green Bay Packers have raised $67 million the past six weeks by selling shares of stock for $250 apiece. The stock has no cash value, but it does grant shareholders the official privilege of calling themselves owners of the NFL’s only publicly owned team.
Other teams can only wish their financial issues were as easy to resolve. The Rams just rejected a $124 million proposal from St. Louis officials to make stadium improvements that would have cost taxpayers about $60 million, and the Vikings are currently wrangling with Minnesota leaders over a new $975 million stadium that could involve nearly $550 million in taxpayer contributions.
The Packers added more than 250,000 new shareholders and now have more than 360,000 part-owners.
Maybe the New York Yankees should sell some stock. Apparently, the traditional big spenders will be cutting back.
Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner wants to lower the team’s payroll to $189 million over the next few years. This year’s payroll is about $210 million.
“I’m just not convinced we need to be as high as we’ve been in the past to field a championship-caliber team,” Steinbrenner said.
Said Yankees fans everywhere: “Really!?!”
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