* Play ball!
The Cleveland Indians Baseball Co. priced its new stock offering Wednesday at $15 a share, smack in the middle of the expected range of $14 to $16.
The company sold 4 million shares through Cleveland-based underwriter McDonald & Co. The stock begins trading today on Nasdaq under the symbol CLEV.
The approximately $60 million raised by the offering will be used to buy partnership interests from entities controlled by the team's owner, Richard E. Jacobs.
The owner won't be sharing any of the team's decision-making with his new shareholders, however. The offering is in Class A shares. Jacobs owns all of the Class B shares, which have super-voting rights.
Still, the novelty value of the stock could give it a boost, at least initially: The offering is a first for a major league baseball team, although there are a handful of other public sports team issues, including the Boston Celtics basketball team (ticker symbol: BOS), now at $20.25 on the New York Stock Exchange, and the Florida Panthers hockey team (PAW), now at $19.13, also on the NYSE.
Furthermore, given that the Indians have sold out every game since their new stadium, Jacobs Field, opened in 1994, there may be plenty of incredibly loyal Cleveland fans who didn't get a piece of the offering and will be willing to pay up for it in the aftermarket--if only to get the stock certificate, suitable for framing and displaying in the rec room of every Cleveland home.