It has been a week since I questioned whether Vince McMahon’s fake death could lead to shareholder lawsuits since McMahon is so material to the organization’s business. Last Tuesday, the WWE said they had not received any calls from those holding WWE stock and then promptly named me a suspect in the death of “Mr. McMahon,” who they said was the character played by Vince McMahon.
Well, this morning I walked into the office and received this statement in my e-mail box from the WWE: Even though the WWE still considers Darren Rovell a "suspect," it should be noted that there actually were two stockholders (out of our thousands of shareholders) who did inquire about the status of "Mr. McMahon's" alleged demise. One purported stockholder emailed our investor relations department one week after the incident occurred, and initially did not sign his name, instead signing with several "X's." The other inquiry came via telephone from a named stockholder who was satisfied with the answer to his inquiry -- so much so that he subsequently bought additional shares.
The WWE does not consider the persons responsible for these two inquiries as suspects.
Obviously the WWE isn’t scared off by the fake death. The organization is going forward with “Mr. McMahon’s” Memorial Service tonight on Raw. It’s a three-hour special that begins at 8 p.m. ET on USA.
Because they are the NFL only team that sells stock (even though there's no dividend and the north of 100,000 shareholders can't trade shares), the Green Bay Packers are the only team that opens their books to the world. Before I give you these numbers, obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, remember the lesson that comes out of this, which is small market doesn't always mean small revenue. For those who don't realize this, Green Bay has a population of something like 102,000 people -- roughly equal to the number of people in Olathe, Kan.
Operating Revenue: Up 4.8 percent to $218 million.
Overall Operating Expenses: Down 2 percent to $183.8 million.
NFL Revenue (includes all media and licensing fees): Up 9.3 percent to $111.5 million.
Marketing Revenue: Down 1.7 percent to $40.7 million.
The entire budget shows that the Packers made $22 million, despite their 8-8 record. That means the Packers will likely be paying some money to the have-nots like the Buffalo Bills. The team also has built up what they call a "franchise preservation fund" to the tune of $125.5 million to help the team in hard times.
How healthy are the Green Bay Packers? They’ve sold out every game since 1960 and they have season ticket holders from all 50 states. Since the folks who signed up for the list in 1974 were getting off last year, I put my name in last September to see how long it would take me.
As you can see from the letter below, my “priority number” is 72,589. When I looked into this further, which the average Bear, or Packer for that matter usually doesn’t do, I found out that there are 239,038 seats ahead of me and that I was on pace to get off the list in the year 4397. So everyone who signs up on the list from now on is wasting their time unless they want to be frozen in the tundra for a couple thousand years in the hopes of seeing Brett Favre the 61st playing.