During the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reported that Pittsburgh Steelers team chairman Dan Rooney said Pittsburgh will never bid for a Super Bowl. On Thursday, however, his son and team president Art Rooney II said he’s open to exploring the potential of bringing the big game to the city.
“I think it would be great for our city,” he said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “This, in some people’s mind, is the birthplace of professional football. We certainly have a great tradition of being a football kind of town. I think it would be a great thing for us to do at some point.”
The biggest obstacles in bringing a future Super Bowl to the city of Pittsburgh would be the lack of stadium seating and hotel rooms. The league, as the paper reports, has a “basic” requirement of 30,000 “quality” hotel rooms within a 90-minute drive of the stadium and right now that evidently doesn’t exist. In addition, the league also would like Heinz Field to be able to seat 70,000, which is roughly 5,000 more than the 65,000 than it currently can accommodate. Due to those obstacles needing to be overcome, Rooney II reportedly said it probably would be five to 10 years before the city of Pittsburgh would be able to bid for a Super Bowl.
“When you look at the breadth and scope [of the bids], it really is a community effort. It’s just a broad community effort and it takes a lot of work,” he said.
Bringing a Super Bowl to Pittsburgh would certainly be a big undertaking, but at least the younger Rooney appears to be open to exploring the possibility even though his father pretty much nixed the notion of it ever happening.