Which Football Clubs Are Listed On The Stock Exchange Old Stock Certificates Can Fetch Major League Prices

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Old Stock Certificates Can Fetch Major League Prices

Sitting at the bottom of many filing cabinets and dusty chests of drawers can be a little treasure for the unsuspecting. Although your portfolio may have shrunk during the most recent bear market, your old stock certificates may be worth more than the original shares they once represented.

Old stock certificates have become quite valuable. Electronic record keeping has made the issuance of securities by most companies quite rare. And as investors trade their paper certificates for electronic shares, they are often destroyed by the transfer agent, making their numbers even smaller.

Old stock certificates can be works of art, often done with colorful illustrations, making them unusual and interesting art objects in any business or home. Like many antiques, many vintage certificates also tell a unique story that cannot be captured in the electronic stocks issued today. As such, they have become sought after by hobbyists, Wall Street collectors and people looking for unique gifts.

Sports team certificates some of the most sought after

Some of the most sought after and hard to find stock certificates on the market today are those of professional sports teams. Very few American professional sports teams ever “go public” or issue stock certificates. Most sports organizations in the United States operate as franchises with strict ownership rules.

Major professional sports leagues, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and the National Football League, have adopted strict rules and regulations that determine whether a team can go public. Needless to say, this is a tight club and they keep a close eye on the entrance.

The Green Bay Packers are the only publicly owned NFL team to issue stock. The Packers ownership group has bought into the current policy which only limits public ownership. The Green Bay Packers issued shares in 1923, 1935, 1950 and 1997. There are approximately 112,000 non-voting shareholders who cannot redeem the shares for cash. Basically, each of these shareholders bought a historic piece of memorabilia. Although these shares had no intrinsic value, they became quite valuable as a collector’s item. A 1997 edition can sell for up to $1000 in today’s market. Older editions are very hard to find and are rarely offered for sale.

Other major league sports teams that have issued stock over the years include:

Florida Panthers (NHL): went public (NASDAK) in 1996 and then sold to private investors in 2001. (One certificate sells for about $300 – $500)

Boston Celtics (NBA): became the first major sports franchise to go public (NISE) in 1986 before going private in 2003. (One certificate sells for about $150-175)

Cleveland Indians (MLB): Became the first major league baseball team to go public in 1998. They were quickly bought out and went private in 2000. (One certificate sells for about $200-$250)

Many sports-related stock certificates are also valuable

While “fair play” sporting action certificates are rare, other issues that may interest collectors in this category include the World Wrestling Federation, Madison Square Garden, Broadway Joe’s (a former restaurant owned by Joe Namath), and the short-lived XFL. Also, be sure to look for minor league franchises and foreign sports certifications. Other countries, such as Canada, have many publicly owned sports companies.

Sure, many major league franchises are owned by large corporations, but they’re just a blip on their balance sheet. Which stock certificate would you rather have, the Dodgers or Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp? So check your file cabinets and storage units. Those old stock certificates could be worth more than you think.

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