SBD/January 18, 2012/Franchises

Steelers Chair Emeritus Dan Rooney Leaving Post As U.S. Ambassador To Ireland

Dan Rooney has attended Steelers games throughout his ambassadorship

Steelers President Art Rooney II said yesterday that his father and team Chair Emeritus Dan Rooney is "expected to leave his post as U.S. ambassador to Ireland sometime this year," according to Wereschagin & Brown of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Despite his age and the distance involved, the 79-year-old Rooney has "attended Steelers games throughout his ambassadorship." His attendance has "grown more regular this year, and included the Steelers' AFC playoff loss in Denver." Art Rooney II said of his father's role with the franchise, "I think he'll come back and be a key player, let's put it that way" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/18). President Barack Obama was "said to be seeking to have Rooney back in time to help with his re-election given the impact he had the last time" (IRISH TIMES, 1/18).

TO-DO LIST: Art Rooney II said that the Steelers are in the "beginning stages of prioritizing a lengthy offseason to-do list." In Pittsburgh, Scott Brown notes the "biggest question facing the Steelers is what the salary cap will allow them to do -- and what it may force them to do." The Steelers are "approximately $25 million over the salary cap, and they aren't counting on a spike in what teams are allowed to spend in 2012." Rooney said that the team has "been told the cap limit won't significantly rise; it was just over $120 million last season." He said, "It's probably as big an issue as we've had to face" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/18). Also in Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette notes the Steelers will "add 3,000 seats to Heinz Field after the 2012 season." They will be in the open end zone, where the temporary seats were "installed for the Penguins' Winter Classic." The Steelers will turn to "their season-ticket waiting list to sell them" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/18).

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