It’s been 96 years since the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League allowed fans to purchase a stake in the team. The Wisconsin based franchise is the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL and a pioneer for publicly traded clubs in North America.
Looking to model itself after the Packers, Chattanooga Football Club of the National Premier Soccer (NPSL) is raising the bar for soccer clubs in the United States.
On January 17th, Chattanooga announced a limited opportunity for fans to invest in the club and become partial owners. Proceeds from the limited offering of 8,000 shares will support the club’s move from amateur to professional players and offer year-round operation.
In just three days, Chattanooga raised over a third of its million-dollar goal from over 1,300 investors all over the United States and the world, marking one of the fastest starts in the history of equity crowdfunding.
Chattanooga Football Club was founded in 2009 and has drawn nearly 350,000 fans to its games over the course of the last ten seasons. This year, the club will play an extended season with professional players in the NPSL Founders Cup, and will fully launch the league in 2020.
It’s an exciting time for soccer in the state of Tennessee, and according to board members, selling shares of the club has always been in the plan.
“Since our first year, our expectation has been to offer our fans shares in the club, so we are very excited to finally do this,” said Chattanooga Football Club board member Krue Brock.
“For ten years, we’ve been Chattanooga’s team, so being able to offer fans shares so that they have a voice in the direction of the club is perfectly aligned with who we are. Think Green Bay Packers and you understand the path we are on.”
The club is hopeful that this will serve as a model for other clubs across the country.
“The American sports landscape is dominated by a relatively small group of very wealthy owners,” said Tim Kelly, club chairman. “We feel this could be a real game-changer to connect communities across the country with teams they love in a deep and meaningful way."