An annual tradition in Green Bay will be going virtual this year.
The Green Bay Packers announced today their annual shareholders meeting will be held via a 'webcast' due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Team president Mark Murphy said he and the board decided to move the event to an all virtual format due to "...uncertainty with respect to being able to hold gatherings of more than 50 people..." and even if rules change somehow by then, it just made more sense to hold the meeting virtually.
This is a big shift as the event usually draws thousands of people to Green Bay and marked the unofficial start of training camp. The Packers have allowed online viewing of the meeting in previous years for those unable to attend and the 2020 event “will expand on that capability” per Packers president Mark Murphy in a statement.
Murphy also mentioned all reports will be available to shareholders as usual and also announced five names shareholders will vote on to join the team’s board of directors.
It will be interesting to watch the shareholder meeting this year due to the uncertainty of what the current pandemic will do to the NFL schedule and by that time we should have a better idea as to whether or not the season will commence on time.
The financial implications of the pandemic on the Packers, who of course have no singular owner, will also be something the entire league will be watching. Murphy stated earlier this spring the team had a decent amount of money in their reserves and was confident the team could weather an interrupted season.
Still, businesses all over Green Bay rely on the Packers and the loss of an in-person shareholder meeting may be just the first of many dominoes to fall. The fate of training camp and the preseason may be decided soon as well.
Until we know for sure, our fingers will be crossed.