SBD/November 1, 2012/Facilities

Steelers To Sue City-County Authority Over Planned 3,000-Seat Heinz Field Expansion

Upgrades include expansion of the South end zone and a second video board
The Steelers on Tuesday “moved to sue the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority in a spat over how to pay for a planned 3,000-seat expansion the team wants in Heinz Field,” according to Jeremy Boren of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. The dispute “hinges on how much the taxpayer-supported SEA, which owns the stadium on the North Shore, should contribute to the roughly $38 million to $39 million expansion of the 11-year-old stadium’s south end zone and construction of a second video scoreboard.” Steelers officials “want the authority to contribute about two-thirds of the cost, which they say is in line with a provision in the team’s lease.” SEA officials “want to contribute less than that, but it's unclear how much.” The two sides “discussed extending the Steelers’ 30-year lease of the stadium as part of the expansion deal.” A notice that the Steelers “intend to sue ... does not detail the team’s complaint.” SEA Exec Dir Mary Conturo said that she “expects the two sides will meet to work on an agreement despite the lawsuit.” Steelers President Art Rooney II in a statement said, “The SEA is our landlord, and it is not holding up its end of the lease” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 11/1). Rooney added that the Steelers have “already advanced more than $6 million in funding for Heinz Field improvements as well as design and planning costs related to the proposed expansion.” In Pittsburgh, Peter Diana notes team officials “had hoped to have a deal in place on the expansion by the end of October so that they could have the new seats ready for the 2013 season.” But "without a final agreement, the Steelers last week canceled an order for the steel needed for the construction” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/1).
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