What act of nature forced the Packers to sell stock?
Heavy rains the fall of 1922 nearly doomed the future of the Green Bay Packers in their first season.
In early November, the Packers played Columbus in a driving rain which limited attendance and financially killed Green Bay because they owed a guaranteed gate to Columbus. Green Bay had rain insurance, however, the total rainfall was three one-hundredths of an inch short of the amount needed for the Packers to collect on their rain insurance.
Days later, on Thanksgiving Day, a 12-hour rainfall ruined what was supposed to be Booster Day, contributing to a sparse crowd for a non-league game against Duluth and another financial disaster. Packers officials wanted to cancel the game, but Andrew Turnbull, one of the owners of Press-Gazette, persuaded them to play with the assurance that he would rally the community behind the team at the season’s end.
Nearly 25 years later in a three-part series, Calhoun wrote that Nov. 30, 1922, “marked a turning point in the history of the Packers.” He said Turnbull promised that if club officials went ahead and played their game that day, he would get Green Bay’s business community to rally behind the team once the season ended.
Desperate for cash, Green Bay issued the first of five stock sales in 1923 (then again in 1935, 1950, 1997, 2011), which raised $5,545 on 1,109 shares of $5 stock.
The era of a community-owned team had begun, thanks to too much rain and the support of the local newspaper. The owners of the Press-Gazette were heavy buyers of stock in the Packers from the very beginning, committing to their promise to give the team support from the local community.
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Green Bay Packers Media Guide 2017