For the past two
years the Rooney family has had discussions about a restructuring of the
family�s ownership of the Steelers in order to ensure compliance with NFL
ownership policies and the continuation of Rooney family ownership and operation
of the team.
Chairman Dan Rooney, the oldest son of late team founder Art Rooney, wants to
stay in the football business while some of his four brothers plan to get out of
the NFL and focus their business efforts on their racetracks and other
interests. Dan Rooney, and his son, Steelers President Art Rooney II, are
arranging a financing plan to buy Dan�s brothers' shares in the team in order to
continue substantial ownership of the franchise by the Rooneys.
The other Rooney
brothers � Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John � each currently has an ownership
interest in the Steelers. Another related family, the McGinleys, also owns a
minority interest in the team. The Rooney family owns racetracks in New York and
Florida, and like many in recent years, these facilities have added forms of
gaming that are inconsistent with NFL gambling policy.
Roger Goodell asked former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to serve as a league
representative in discussions with the family in order to reach an agreement on
the separation of the gambling interests and on a restructuring of ownership
going forward if part of the team is sold.
Steelers Chairman Dan
Rooney stated, �I have spent my entire life devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers
and the National Football League. I will do everything possible to work out a
solution to ensure my father�s legacy of keeping the Steelers in the Rooney
family and in Pittsburgh for at least another 75 years.�
Art Rooney II stated, �There is no reason to believe that the current internal
discussions will have any impact on our fans or on our team this season or in
the seasons to come.�