Wednesday, July 16, 2008
As many Pittsburghers are aware, the Rooneys, who own the Steelers, are forced to sell ownership to comply with NFL gambling regulations and are considering a sale to Pittsburgh fan and Wall Street tycoon Stanley Druckenmiller. Allegheny County Controller Mark Flaherty sent a letter Tuesday to the Rooneys telling them that any sale of Steeler ownership to anyone outside of the Rooney family "would result in a demand to return a proportionate share of the $281 million" (public funds used to build Heinz Field). He says it would be unjust for the Steelers franchise to profit from public funds invested into a new stadium. In 1998, the Steelers franchise was valued at $300 million. Heinz Field opened in 2001. Current estimates of the Steelers' value have recently been raised as high as $1.2 billion.