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WITH PLAN A VOTED DOWN, PITTSBURGH OFFICIALS OFFER PLAN B
Published March 10, 1998
Allegheny County and Pittsburgh city leaders yesterday proposed an $803M plan to finance new stadiums for the Pirates and Steelers along with expansion of the city's convention center, according to Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. The so-called "Plan B" would have "taxpayers bearing more than" 75% of the cost. While both teams have offered $85M toward facility financing, "city and county leaders have made it clear that the $85 million was not enough." Allegheny County Commissioner Bob Cranmer said that "the team contributions must increase if the package is to work" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/10). DETAILS: The package, announced by Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, would include $633M in public funds, "relying on such traditional methods as tax revenue and bond income." It would also tax pro athletes who play in the city but don't live in PA. Private financing would bring in "at least" $170M, including the team's contributions and the possible selling of portions of the stadiums -- such as billboards/scoreboards -- to private investors. The selling of naming rights could also be included. Cranmer: "There's been a lot of talk about naming the new football stadium after Mr. Art Rooney. If that's the case, that's going to cost (the Rooney family) money." The Steelers said part of their contribution would include PSL sales, while the Pirates "would not say how they intend to finance their contribution" (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/10). Pirates Owner Kevin McClatchy: "[T]his is a historic day for Pittsburgh and the region. We're excited about signing a lease for 25 or 30 years and being a member of the Pittsburgh community for a long time" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/10).