Re: Going public?
The Packers literally sold stock in the early part of the 20th century to keep the team afloat. We took loans from George Halas, of all people.
The stock isn't necessarily "public". A stockholder gets a vote on who the team president or the board members are. It's pretty symbolic, more or less.
Stockholders get no dividends, regardless.
It is, effectively, a donation by fans to own a piece of the team.
There are also limits on how many shares can be owned by one person or organization. No one will ever have a majority of the stocks, or even come close. I think the max is actually 20 shares.
Regardless of the stocks, the Packers would have gone under in the 60s or 70s if it were not for the revenue sharing the NFL pioneered.
The best part: if the Packers were ever to be sold, stockholders would receive nothing. And, all the money is, by contract and deed, to be designated for a war memorial in a Green Bay park.
Can you imagine a $400,000,000 war memorial? I hope it has a water slide.
As to why other teams will never do it? NFL teams are rarely profitable. If teams had to pay dividends, they would be in the red every year, if they aren't already. You would have to convince the fan base to basically own a powerless stock that they will never be allowed to sell for more money than they paid for it, never benefit from it, and never actually be able to own enough to take control.
Not many places that will happen.
Have you ever seen a race of turtles, and they all go the wrong way instead of towards the finish line?
Welcome to the NFC North.