PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Steelers President Art Rooney II has blasted the team’s partnership with the Sports and Exhibition Authority.
Rooney said if the relationship doesn’t improve, the Steelers will have to re-think future events.
His comments come just four days after the highly promoted NHL Stadium Series game at Heinz Field, between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
Roughly 67,000 people attended that game, which pumped millions of dollars into the local economy.
“The stadium classic is one of those national events that every city that has a hockey team wants,” Visit Pittsburgh’s Craig Davis said.
The Steelers would like to open Heinz Field to even more special events, including the Super Bowl.
But, Rooney said the Steelers’ partnership with the SEA is, “not a functioning relationship.”
While short on specifics, Rooney said events such as the Stadium Series require a high level of cooperation and he doesn’t feel the Steelers have that type of working relationship with the SEA – their landlord at Heinz Field.
“We have concerns going forward whether we can continue to compete for events such as the Super Bowl or future events like the Stadium Series at Heinz Field,” the Steelers said in a statement to KDKA-TV.
SEA Solicitor Morgan Hanson also issued a statement saying it’s their opinion that work between the Steelers and the SEA has been diligent and professional.
“Obviously, the SEA is the steward of public monies. Accordingly, the SEA must ensure that the Steelers’ requests fall within the public’s responsibility under the lease,” Hanson said.