Thearon W. Henderson
The Raiders general manager is from the Packers organization as we all know. Perhaps he should bring with him the idea of selling shares of the team to fans like Green Bay has done.
The City of Oakland is struggling worse than most anywhere else in the country financially. They are struggling just to keep enough police with jobs to help fight the City's ever growing crime rate, so how can they keep their beloved team in their rightful home?
I believe one of the answers very well could be to offer shares of the team to fans like the publicly owned Packers. The big difference between the two though would be having the Davis family still retain controlling interest in the franchise, where as the Packers are run by a board committee.
What the only publicly owned professional sports franchise in Green Bay offers is a stock at the price of $250 per share. The thing about this "stock" though is that the ownership of it can not be sold to anybody else. It is only allowed to be sold back to the team or transferred to a family member. This keeps the stocks from being accumulated without team consent by a single entity.
The stock itself is actually more of a momento than anything else, but it is one that directly helps the team and keeps them in a city that would otherwise have trouble affording them. It does come with an annual share holders meeting where you can go and hear directly from key members of the organization about the direction of the team.
It does not include any type of voting privelidges and all football decisions are made by the organization. Still you get the unbelievably cool feeling of saying you are an owner of your favorite football team. Its not worth anything more than the symbolization of it, but at $250 its less than many autographed merchandise is purchased for.
The sales of these shares would not have to be relegated to the Bay Area only, but instead could be purchased by any fan of the club. This means that even fans outside of Oakland could help keep the team by the Bay and perhaps assist with part of the financial load being asked to be shouldered by local taxpayers.
The taxpayers in the City can no longer afford to support the franchise and that may in the end leave no alternative to moving out of Oakland. Instead of asking all taxpayers to continue to pay for the franchise, selling the stocks would allow individuals to choose to help the team more instead. I can tell you that the people of Green Bay love that they are able to consider themselves more than just fans. It is a symbol more than anything but it will make a young fan smile from ear to ear.
I think sharing the 49ers stadium may be the best way to keep the team near the Bay, but perhaps selling stock of the team could help too. There is speculation that one day Mark will have to sell a portion of the team to pay the inheritance taxes when the team is in his name instead of Carroll Davis', why not have those sales be to the fans themselves that often consider themselves owners already anyway.