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NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 06:28 PM
Here are several more articles about the issue that shed more light on the subject and pose other questions.... I included them all in one thread so as not to "clutter" the board with this subject....

Any new opinions from anybody?.....
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All or nothing for Steelers suitor
Druckenmiller not interested in anything less than a majority stake in team
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller is not interested in any type of minority partnership with Steelers chairman Dan Rooney and is involved in negotiations to purchase the ownership shares of the four Rooney brothers with one purpose: To become majority owner of the Steelers and keep the National Football League franchise in Pittsburgh, ideally with Dan Rooney and his son, Art II, at the helm.

According to a source who has intimate knowledge of the New York hedge fund manager's dealings with the Rooney brothers, Mr. Druckenmiller will not get caught up in a high-stakes bidding war to purchase the shares necessary to become majority owner if Goldman Sachs & Co., the Wall Street investment bank that is serving as financial adviser for the Rooney brothers, opens the process to public bid.

If that happens, Mr. Druckenmiller will immediately withdraw his offer to the Rooney brothers to purchase each of the 16 percent shares they own in the Steelers franchise, the source said.

Mr. Druckenmiller, chairman of Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Capital Management who has an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion, is involved solely in financial discussion with the four Rooney brothers -- Art Jr., Tim, Patrick and John -- and is not part of any financial team being constructed by Dan Rooney and his son, Art II, the team's president, the source said.

However, Mr. Druckenmiller has had a number of conversations with Dan Rooney about him remaining in control of the franchise if Mr. Druckenmiller becomes majority owner -- a prospect Dan Rooney and his son are trying to avoid. They have retained Morgan Stanley in New York and PNC Bank, Downtown, to acquire additional funding in an attempt to keep controlling interest of the franchise where it has been for the past 75 years -- in the Rooney name.

Neither Dan Rooney nor his son could be reached for comment last night.

According to the source, though, Mr. Druckenmiller is "not getting any sense" that the deal will not work out in his favor, adding that it makes more financial sense for the four Rooney brothers to sell their entire shares rather than sell a portion and retain some small minority investment in the team.

But, if that's what they want to do, Mr. Druckenmiller would be "happy to accommodate them," the source added, so long as he would still be able to gain controlling interest of the franchise.

Mr. Druckenmiller "has all the respect in the world for Dan Rooney," the source said, adding that he considers the Steelers chairman to be "nothing but a first-class individual."

Mr. Druckenmiller, 55, an Oakmont Country Club member, is an ardent Steelers fan whose lifelong dream is to own the franchise. However, the source said he does not want to be portrayed as a Mark Cuban-type owner merely because he painted his face black and gold at a Steelers game. Mr. Druckenmiller did that once or twice for his daughters, the source said, because he wanted them to take an interest in the Steelers, not the hometown New York Giants where the Druckenmillers live.

He said Mr. Druckenmiller knows his responsibilities would change if he became the Steelers owner.
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Taxpayers should share in Steelers' sale, controller says
By Bobby Kerlik
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A sale of any interest in the Pittsburgh Steelers should be shared with the taxpayers who helped build Heinz Field, Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty told team owners in a letter Tuesday.

The letter to the Rooney and McGinley families said a change of ownership "would result in a demand to return a proportionate share" of the $281 million in public money used to build the North Shore stadium.

It also accused owners of a possible violation of their 2000 lease with the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority -- the stadium's owner -- for engaging in sales talks. And it demanded the team stay in Pittsburgh.

"As the financial watchdog for the county, I will not permit a material change in ownership of this regional asset to occur without an equitable repayment of the funds contributed by the taxpayers ... ," Flaherty wrote.

One of the Steelers' shareholders and a former Stadium Authority chairman questioned whether the lease could require repayment. Current SEA officials said the lease already keeps the team here until 2029.

Flaherty declined comment through his secretary, who said he was planning a news conference for this morning.

Four of the five Rooney brothers have said they hired Wall Street investment firm Goldman, Sachs & Co. to find "alternatives" to their continued stake in the business.

Wall Street tycoon Stanley Druckenmiller, 55, has emerged as a potential buyer. In a statement issued last week, Druckenmiller said any deal involving him would guarantee the franchise remains in Pittsburgh.

The fifth Rooney, Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, has stopped short of guaranteeing that he and his son, Art Rooney II, will be able to stay at the helm of a team that has won five Super Bowls.

Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said he was unaware of the letter. Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II had not been to their offices all day, he said.

Eckert Seamans partner John R. McGinley Jr., who along with five siblings and their aunt, Rita McGinley, holds a 20 percent stake in the team, said he received his copy of Flaherty's letter yesterday afternoon.

McGinley, who said his family is not interested in selling its shares, said a sale of the team by the Rooney family is not necessarily imminent.

"I wish that my cousins can work this out," McGinley said. "There's a major difference between discussions and negotiations. I would characterize what is happening as discussions. I've never been told negotiations are ongoing."

McGinley said he hasn't read the lease with the SEA but said he'd be surprised if the lease could force anyone to pay taxpayers for stadium costs.

Flaherty wrote that Heinz Field and its "generous lease provisions contributed significantly to increases in the value of the Steelers franchise" and argued taxpayers "should share in the increased value that the stadium has contributed to the franchise."

He cited Forbes magazine's 1998 value of the franchise at $300 million. In 2007, that value jumped to $929 million, Flaherty wrote.

Analysts in New York have placed the franchise's value between $800 million and $1.2 billion.

"If such a sale would occur without the return of the taxpayers' dollars, it would unjustly enrich the shareholders at the expense of the taxpayers," the controller wrote.

The Steelers contributed $76.5 million to Heinz Field.

SEA Executive Director Mary Conturo had not seen a copy of Flaherty's letter, but she and board member Darlene Harris, a city councilwoman, said the lease cuffed the Steelers firmly to Heinz Field through 2029.

"The owners and any successor owners are bound by the Heinz Field lease, along with the covenants of these agreements to include any relocations," Conturo said.

"They have to play here."

Mark Schneider, who was chairman of the Stadium Authority when the lease was negotiated, said he did not believe anything in the lease could prevent the sale of the team.

"Nobody ever thought that the lease would not allow someone to make changes in ownership," Schneider said. "The Steelers get the benefit of their new facility."

Calls to Druckenmiller at his firm were not returned.

McGinley said he doubted any potential buyer would back out because of threats related to the stadium lease.

"I don't think anyone is going to look at that," he said. "People don't get scared away by this kind of stuff."
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If Steelers change hands, county may seek reimbursement for Heinz Field
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
By Dennis B. Roddy and Timothy McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty yesterday warned the Rooney family that any change in the Steelers ownership would mean the state and county could seek reimbursement of their $281 million share of the construction costs of Heinz Field.

"As the financial watchdog for the County, I will not permit a material change in ownership of this regional asset to occur without an equitable repayment of the funds contributed by the taxpayers or [will] require a new agreement with the new owners group that the team must remain in Pittsburgh for the next 75 years," Mr. Flaherty wrote in a letter delivered to members of the Rooney and McGinley families.

The controller cited Article 6.4 of the lease agreement between the team and the Sports & Exhibition Authority, which he said requires repayment of a proportionate share of the $281 million of state and county money used to build Heinz Field should the team be sold outside the families.

Some members of the Rooney family are in talks with New York investor Stanley Druckenmiller for the sale of a majority of shares of the team.

"The taxpayers of Allegheny County and the State of Pennsylvania provided the funds dedicated to the construction of the Stadium based on the agreement that the Steelers remain in Pittsburgh with the Steelers Family," Mr. Flaherty wrote. "The new stadium and the generous lease provisions contributed significantly to increases in the value of the Steelers Franchise."

The letter says Forbes magazine estimated the team's value at $300 million in 1998 and at $929 million last year.

"The public should share in the increased value that the stadium has contributed to the franchise," Mr. Flaherty wrote.

Mr. Flaherty said he was acting in his role as county controller and the sale of capital stock in the team outside a "permitted transfer" to another Rooney or McGinley family member would violate terms of the lease agreement reached between the Sports & Exhibition Authority and PSSI Corp., which represented the Steelers in the stadium deal.

To construct the stadium, the state and county put up $281 million while, according to Mr. Flaherty's calculations, the Steelers provided $76.5 million.

"[B]y entertaining such discussions concerning a change in ownership outside the Steelers Family, such shareholders may have violated the lease provisions between the Steelers Franchise and the Sports & Exhibition Authority. A material change in ownership would violate the taxpayers' trust, the same taxpayers who agreed to an expenditure for the Stadium based upon trust and reliance that the team would remain in Pittsburgh with the Steelers Family," Mr. Flaherty wrote.

Jack McGinley, a cousin of the Rooneys and a shareholder in the team, last night said he had received a copy of the letter and criticized Mr. Flaherty, calling the correspondence "really offensive."

"I find it offensive he could write a letter to me with these assertions without calling me to ask about it," Mr. McGinley said. "I am very surprised at it. I have known him a long time. I thought it was a very, very amateurish approach to a serious matter. I am extremely disappointed in Mark Flaherty.

"We have nothing but concern for the propriety of the process."

Mr. Flaherty could not be reached last night for comment and County Chief Executive Dan Onorato did not respond to requests for comment.

Someone with knowledge of the Heinz Field lease with the Sports & Exhibition Authority -- a telephone book-sized agreement signed between the Steelers and the city-county agency eight years ago -- said the lease "gives them [the Rooneys] the right to sell the team, but the franchise is bound to staying in Pittsburgh."

Also, the "permitted transfer" language Mr. Flaherty cited is common in lease agreements of all kinds -- usually they are used by tenants, in this case the Steelers, to keep landlords from interfering in business decisions.

The language prohibiting the team from leaving Pittsburgh is solid. The team's lease was for 29.5 years -- long-term Pennsylvania leases are commonly less than 30 years, due to tax issues. And the state, under a separate agreement with the Steelers regarding Pennsylvania's $75 million contribution to the stadium, has third-party beneficiary rights letting it sue the team to keep it from leaving.

RuthlessBurgher
07-16-2008, 07:12 PM
According to a source who has intimate knowledge of the New York hedge fund manager's dealings with the Rooney brothers, Mr. Druckenmiller will not get caught up in a high-stakes bidding war to purchase the shares necessary to become majority owner if Goldman Sachs & Co., the Wall Street investment bank that is serving as financial adviser for the Rooney brothers, opens the process to public bid.

If that happens, Mr. Druckenmiller will immediately withdraw his offer to the Rooney brothers to purchase each of the 16 percent shares they own in the Steelers franchise, the source said.

He will withdraw his offer if the process gets opened to public bid? :wft Isn't he currently a member of the public who is making a bid? If I had a cool billion burning a hole in my pocket, I could do the same thing that he is doing tomorrow. That's means he'll drop out because another member of the public is showing an interest in putting in a bid for the team besides him?


According to the source, though, Mr. Druckenmiller is "not getting any sense" that the deal will not work out in his favor, adding that it makes more financial sense for the four Rooney brothers to sell their entire shares rather than sell a portion and retain some small minority investment in the team.

I thought the whole point of this was that the other brothers had to get rid of all of their stock in the Steelers or get rid of all of their stock in the racetracks. It is one or the other, because they NFL does not want its owners involved in any outside gambling interests. Retaining some small minority investment in the team was never an option. :wft

Jom112
07-16-2008, 07:35 PM
He will withdraw his offer if the process gets opened to public bid? :wft Isn't he currently a member of the public who is making a bid? If I had a cool billion burning a hole in my pocket, I could do the same thing that he is doing tomorrow. That's means he'll drop out because another member of the public is showing an interest in putting in a bid for the team besides him?


I think he's saying more that he doesn't want to get into a bidding war. Right now he is the main suitor and the Rooney brothers might be exclusively dealing with him and Dan Rooney. If they put Druckenmillers bid on hold to see what else they can get and start pinning potential owners against each other to make more money Druckenmiller will probably withdraw his offer.

:2c



I thought the whole point of this was that the other brothers had to get rid of all of their stock in the Steelers or get rid of all of their stock in the racetracks. It is one or the other, because they NFL does not want its owners involved in any outside gambling interests. Retaining some small minority investment in the team was never an option. :wft

Dan Rooney is trying to buy some of the shares so he can keep majority ownership, but he doesn't have enough to buy out all of them. Druckenmiller is saying that if the brothers (Other than Dan) sell some of their shares to Dan, he won't be buying the rest of them (Unless it still give him majority ownership).

It makes sense, I mean what kind of billionaire isn't a control freak?

NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 07:40 PM
I mean what kind of billionaire isn't a control freak?

And THAT is what concerns me.....
Maybe very little patience, whereas Rooney was extremely patient.... Remember when everyone was suprised when Cowher got his extention?... And a few seasons later he won the SB?.... You may not see such restraint with this guy.

stlrz d
07-16-2008, 08:17 PM
Don't know how rich he is, but I don't recall hearing too much about Pat Bowlen effing with the Broncos?

I think Paul Allen pretty much lets the football brains run the Seahawks for him?

Jeffrey Lurie in Philly?

I could probably come up with more, but I'm kinda lazy at the moment.

NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 08:25 PM
If Druckenmiller gets majority interest in the team, he will not have Dan Rooney continue to run the team. The Steelers patriarch might serve as a figurehead, but billionaire fans donít buy their favorite team so the old owner can keep managing it.

... No one else, including this guy, stlrz, will handle it in a similar manner...

stlrz d
07-16-2008, 08:30 PM
If Druckenmiller gets majority interest in the team, he will not have Dan Rooney continue to run the team. The Steelers patriarch might serve as a figurehead, but billionaire fans donít buy their favorite team so the old owner can keep managing it.

... No one else, including this guy, stlrz, will handle it in a similar manner...

I'm not sure what you're getting at, but isn't that quote from the Mark Madden article that you just slammed?

Jom112
07-16-2008, 08:33 PM
Don't know how rich he is, but I don't recall hearing too much about Pat Bowlen effing with the Broncos?

I think Paul Allen pretty much lets the football brains run the Seahawks for him?

Jeffrey Lurie in Philly?

I could probably come up with more, but I'm kinda lazy at the moment.

He's worth $3.5 Billion last I heard. There's no way to know how he'll be as an owner, but he's doing a good job so far in the buying process.

Forcing the Rooney's hand by saying he won't get into a bidding war appears to be a solid negotiating strategy. It's a good move for him and for Steeler fans if he ends up owning the organization. The less money he gives the Rooney's the more he'll have to invest in the team...

NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 08:38 PM
I'm not sure what you're getting at, but isn't that quote from the Mark Madden article that you just slammed?

Yes it is... But within his cinicisim he makes the point about the new owner that I've been stating and you've been denying. Yes, neither of us know how it will shake out. But odds dictate a certain direction.... I've been "pre-labeled" as you mentioned before elsewhere, but this is just common sense and nothing to do with "labeling". And the fact that he wants "all or nothing" makes this even more clear, that's all.

Jom112
07-16-2008, 08:41 PM
I'm not sure what you're getting at, but isn't that quote from the Mark Madden article that you just slammed?

Yes it is... But within his cinicisim he makes the point about the new owner that I've been stating and you've been denying. Yes, neither of us know how it will shake out. But odds dictate a certain direction.... I've been "pre-labeled" as you mentioned before elsewhere, but this is just common sense and nothing to do with "labeling". And the fact that he wants "all or nothing" makes this even more clear, that's all.

I disagree NKy. Drunckenmiller appears to be a fan of the Steelers so I'm sure he has respect for Dan Rooney. Plus Rooney is 75, I'm sure Druckenmiller won't mind getting situated with the NFL while Dan runs the team for another several years. I doubt Dan Rooney wants to run the team for too much longer anyway...

NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 08:43 PM
If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong..... I don't want to be in a position of saying "I told you so", but as a simple fan I don't have that choice... We shall see.... Money talks and bull**** walks... It's easy to say this guy will do well, but hard to refute past success...

BigBen2112
07-16-2008, 08:46 PM
Does ANYONE else think it is very suspicious that this dude is THAT pushy about getting majority ownership of the team? He wont accept anything less than "controlling interest." I find that VERY suspicious no matter what others say...that is really odd. Even if he owned 16% of the team he'd still be an "owner" and thus I dont find any plausible explanation, except some skepticism and suspicion, for why he wants, so vehemently, a "controlling interest" in the team. Sorry, but that's just kinda suspicious to me.

NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 08:48 PM
Does ANYONE else think it is very suspicious that this dude is THAT pushy about getting majority ownership of the team? He wont accept anything less than "controlling interest." I find that VERY suspicious no matter what others say...that is really odd. Even if he owned 16% of the team he'd still be an "owner" and thus I dont find any plausible explanation, except some skepticism and suspicion, for why he wants, so vehemently, a "controlling interest" in the team. Sorry, but that's just kinda suspicious to me.

Have you been reading any of my posts on the subject?... Yes, I agree... But I apparently am the only one.

LasVegasGuy
07-16-2008, 08:57 PM
Don't know how rich he is, but I don't recall hearing too much about Pat Bowlen effing with the Broncos?

I think Paul Allen pretty much lets the football brains run the Seahawks for him?

Jeffrey Lurie in Philly?

I could probably come up with more, but I'm kinda lazy at the moment.

Wayne Huzienga in Miami and Bob Kraft in New England. These owners seem hands off as well.

BigBen2112
07-16-2008, 08:57 PM
I'm not sure what you're getting at, but isn't that quote from the Mark Madden article that you just slammed?

Yes it is... But within his cinicisim he makes the point about the new owner that I've been stating and you've been denying. Yes, neither of us know how it will shake out. But odds dictate a certain direction.... I've been "pre-labeled" as you mentioned before elsewhere, but this is just common sense and nothing to do with "labeling". And the fact that he wants "all or nothing" makes this even more clear, that's all.

I disagree NKy. Drunckenmiller appears to be a fan of the Steelers so I'm sure he has respect for Dan Rooney. Plus Rooney is 75, I'm sure Druckenmiller won't mind getting situated with the NFL while Dan runs the team for another several years. I doubt Dan Rooney wants to run the team for too much longer anyway...

Sorry, but I have to call BULL when I see it. You dont want to buy a "controlling interest" so that you DONT control anything. Let's debunk the homerism here (yes I know you're a fan of another team tho) and lets talk about things realistically. He wants to control the franchise. Why is that? So he can leave it in the hands of Rooney? Bull crap. Sorry, but people dont do that. Companies dont buy out other companies in an attempt to NOT control them. Its illogical to think that. There is a REASON this guy wants to have a "controlling interest." And more so...he's adamantly saying he wont continue if anyone else gets a chance to bid at all? That's kinda fishy to me. I can understand him saying that he's going to make his best offer and not get into a bidding war and go any higher....but saying if they even open it up to public bidding he'll pull his offer? This sounds like the type of guy I DONT want with a "controlling" interest in the team. People can say I am wrong and all, but people are being naive if they think this is all kosher and all 100% transparent.

LasVegasGuy
07-16-2008, 09:04 PM
Does ANYONE else think it is very suspicious that this dude is THAT pushy about getting majority ownership of the team? He wont accept anything less than "controlling interest." I find that VERY suspicious no matter what others say...that is really odd. Even if he owned 16% of the team he'd still be an "owner" and thus I dont find any plausible explanation, except some skepticism and suspicion, for why he wants, so vehemently, a "controlling interest" in the team. Sorry, but that's just kinda suspicious to me.


I don't want to see "another owner" we already have 5. I want to see one guy take charge and make all the decisions. I bet you couldn't find 5 people right now to agree on the weather let alone the day to day operations of the Steelers. Maybe a majority owner is not such a bad thing. Especially an owner that is passionate about being the top dog maybe that rubs off on the way he will run the Steelers.

stlrz d
07-16-2008, 09:04 PM
I'm sure there are business reasons for wanting to have a controlling interest. I'm not a captain of industry and business so I'm not able to go into that.

Jom112
07-16-2008, 09:04 PM
Sorry, but I have to call BULL when I see it. You dont want to buy a "controlling interest" so that you DONT control anything. Let's debunk the homerism here (yes I know you're a fan of another team tho) and lets talk about things realistically. He wants to control the franchise. Why is that? So he can leave it in the hands of Rooney? Bull crap. Sorry, but people dont do that. Companies dont buy out other companies in an attempt to NOT control them. Its illogical to think that. There is a REASON this guy wants to have a "controlling interest." And more so...he's adamantly saying he wont continue if anyone else gets a chance to bid at all? That's kinda fishy to me. I can understand him saying that he's going to make his best offer and not get into a bidding war and go any higher....but saying if they even open it up to public bidding he'll pull his offer? This sounds like the type of guy I DONT want with a "controlling" interest in the team. People can say I am wrong and all, but people are being naive if they think this is all kosher and all 100% transparent.

I have said all along that Drunkenmiller will not buy the Steelers unless he can get majority ownership. This shouldn't be surprising. If Dan Rooney wasn't 75 years old I would agree with you, but because of his age I don't think Druckenmiller will force him out immediately (Unless things go sour during the ownership transition between them).

Give Drunckenmiller some credit, the guy is a billionaire. I'm sure he's smart enough to realize that if he keeps repeating that he will keep Dan Rooney in charge but then dumps him as soon as he takes over that it would alienate the fan base.

Also I truly believe that he likes the way that Rooney runs the organization. Why not keep someone as well respected as Dan Rooney in charge for another couple of years until you can get situated into the business? If someone takes over Apple are they going to replace Steve Jobs if they don't have to? Hell no, Jobs is fantastic for business that wouldn't make any sense.

Eventually yes Drunckenmiller will take over though and having majority ownership helps him accomplish that...



I'm sure there are business reasons for wanting to have a controlling interest. I'm not a captain of industry and business so I'm not able to go into that.

Hell must have just froze over because I completely agree with you stlrz...

RuthlessBurgher
07-16-2008, 09:30 PM
Does ANYONE else think it is very suspicious that this dude is THAT pushy about getting majority ownership of the team? He wont accept anything less than "controlling interest." I find that VERY suspicious no matter what others say...that is really odd. Even if he owned 16% of the team he'd still be an "owner" and thus I dont find any plausible explanation, except some skepticism and suspicion, for why he wants, so vehemently, a "controlling interest" in the team. Sorry, but that's just kinda suspicious to me.


I don't want to see "another owner" we already have 5. I want to see one guy take charge and make all the decisions. I bet you couldn't find 5 people right now to agree on the weather let alone the day to day operations of the Steelers. Maybe a majority owner is not such a bad thing. Especially an owner that is passionate about being the top dog maybe that rubs off on the way he will run the Steelers.

Four of those five make no decisions regarding the day-to-day operations of the team. Dan fired Art Jr. 20 years ago when the drafts of the 80's weren't living up to the drafts of the 70's, and the other three were never involved in running the team in any capacity whatsoever...they ran the horse track and dog tracks. They don't even live in Pittsburgh.

Flasteel
07-16-2008, 09:33 PM
I'm not sure what you're getting at, but isn't that quote from the Mark Madden article that you just slammed?

Yes it is... But within his cinicisim he makes the point about the new owner that I've been stating and you've been denying. Yes, neither of us know how it will shake out. But odds dictate a certain direction.... I've been "pre-labeled" as you mentioned before elsewhere, but this is just common sense and nothing to do with "labeling". And the fact that he wants "all or nothing" makes this even more clear, that's all.

I disagree NKy. Drunckenmiller appears to be a fan of the Steelers so I'm sure he has respect for Dan Rooney. Plus Rooney is 75, I'm sure Druckenmiller won't mind getting situated with the NFL while Dan runs the team for another several years. I doubt Dan Rooney wants to run the team for too much longer anyway...

Sorry, but I have to call BULL when I see it. You dont want to buy a "controlling interest" so that you DONT control anything. Let's debunk the homerism here (yes I know you're a fan of another team tho) and lets talk about things realistically. He wants to control the franchise. Why is that? So he can leave it in the hands of Rooney? Bull crap. Sorry, but people dont do that. Companies dont buy out other companies in an attempt to NOT control them. Its illogical to think that. There is a REASON this guy wants to have a "controlling interest." And more so...he's adamantly saying he wont continue if anyone else gets a chance to bid at all? That's kinda fishy to me. I can understand him saying that he's going to make his best offer and not get into a bidding war and go any higher....but saying if they even open it up to public bidding he'll pull his offer? This sounds like the type of guy I DONT want with a "controlling" interest in the team. People can say I am wrong and all, but people are being naive if they think this is all kosher and all 100% transparent.

I'm not sure exactly how it went down, but you may also want to consider how that biscuit dude who bought the Rats had a delayed take over in the day-to-day operation of the team after buying out Modell.

BigBen2112
07-16-2008, 09:33 PM
Don't know how rich he is, but I don't recall hearing too much about Pat Bowlen effing with the Broncos?

I think Paul Allen pretty much lets the football brains run the Seahawks for him?

Jeffrey Lurie in Philly?

I could probably come up with more, but I'm kinda lazy at the moment.

Wayne Huzienga in Miami and Bob Kraft in New England. These owners seem hands off as well.

-Its not about hands off owners. Who is the President of the NE Patriots? Jonathan Kraft
-Wayne Huizenga is still chairman of the board and makes executive decisions.
-Jeffrey Lurie is CEO of the Eagles and again makes executive decisions along with HIS appointed COO Joe Banner.
-Pat Bowlen is CEO and President of the Broncos
-Paul Allen is Chairman of the Seahawks and has a CEO to represent him...they have a President, but he's basically just the GM (as the rest of his title indicates)...and Allen, again, makes executive decisions

By Division:
-Buffalo- President= Ralph Wilson= Owner (1)
-Miami- See above
-New England- See above (2)
-NY Jets- Dont have a president, CEO/Chairman= Woody Johnson= Owner (3)

-Baltimore (maybe the best example of the current situation) President= Dick Cass, Minority owner= Art Modell, Majority owner= Steve Bisciotti
-Cincinnati- doesnt have a President= Owner= Mike Brown (4)
-Pittsburgh- President= Art Rooney II= Owner= Rooneys (5)
-Cleveland- President= Mike Keenan, Owner= Randy Lerner

-Houston= CEO/Chairman= Bob McNair= Owner (6)
-Indianapolis= President= Bill Polian= Owner= Jim Irsay
-Jacksonville= CEO/Chairman= Wayne Weaver= Owner (7)
-Tennessee= Owner/Chairman/CEO/President= Bud Adams (8)

-Dallas= President/CEO/Chairman= Jerry Jones= Owner (9)
-NY Giants= President/CEO= Jon Mara= owner (10)
-Philadelphia= See above (11)
-Washington= CEO= Dan Snyder= Owner (12)

-Chicago= Chairman (used to be President)=Michael McCaskey (they do have an active different president though so I wont count them, but McCaskey controls the team and makes many, if not active in most/all executive decisions)
-Green Bay= This doesnt count they are owned by the people/stockholders
-Minnesota= Chairman/Vice-Chairman/CEO/President= the Wilfs (13)
-Detroit= President/CEO= Matt Millen (what a mistake this is, but I wont count it LOL)

-Atlanta= CEO= Arthur Blank= Owner (14)--Rich McKay may be "President" but there is NO question who runs the Falcons and who is very active, and that is Blank...so it counts
-New Orleans= the Benson's own and manage the team (15)
-Tampa= Glazer's own and manage the team (16)
-Carolina= Run/managed by the Richardson's (17)

-Arizona= Run by the Bidwell's (18)
-Seattle= See above--I wont count it although I should b/c he's definitely NOT hands off
-St. Louis= Jim Shaw is President, and basically an adviser, not controller, but I wont count this one either...damn im generous
-San Francisco= Owners/managers= Yorks (19)

So 19 out of 31 eligible teams have their owners and primary controllers as their main executive decision makers...and you can argue that 2-3 more teams have their main controllers as VERY influential in the decisions that are made.

And it doesn't matter at ALL who owns "controlling interest" in the Steelers?

Dont buy it.

BigBen2112
07-16-2008, 09:38 PM
Sorry, but I have to call BULL when I see it. You dont want to buy a "controlling interest" so that you DONT control anything. Let's debunk the homerism here (yes I know you're a fan of another team tho) and lets talk about things realistically. He wants to control the franchise. Why is that? So he can leave it in the hands of Rooney? Bull crap. Sorry, but people dont do that. Companies dont buy out other companies in an attempt to NOT control them. Its illogical to think that. There is a REASON this guy wants to have a "controlling interest." And more so...he's adamantly saying he wont continue if anyone else gets a chance to bid at all? That's kinda fishy to me. I can understand him saying that he's going to make his best offer and not get into a bidding war and go any higher....but saying if they even open it up to public bidding he'll pull his offer? This sounds like the type of guy I DONT want with a "controlling" interest in the team. People can say I am wrong and all, but people are being naive if they think this is all kosher and all 100% transparent.

I have said all along that Drunkenmiller will not buy the Steelers unless he can get majority ownership. This shouldn't be surprising. If Dan Rooney wasn't 75 years old I would agree with you, but because of his age I don't think Druckenmiller will force him out immediately (Unless things go sour during the ownership transition between them).

Give Drunckenmiller some credit, the guy is a billionaire. I'm sure he's smart enough to realize that if he keeps repeating that he will keep Dan Rooney in charge but then dumps him as soon as he takes over that it would alienate the fan base.

Also I truly believe that he likes the way that Rooney runs the organization. Why not keep someone as well respected as Dan Rooney in charge for another couple of years until you can get situated into the business? If someone takes over Apple are they going to replace Steve Jobs if they don't have to? Hell no, Jobs is fantastic for business that wouldn't make any sense.

Eventually yes Drunckenmiller will take over though and having majority ownership helps him accomplish that...



I'm sure there are business reasons for wanting to have a controlling interest. I'm not a captain of industry and business so I'm not able to go into that.

Hell must have just froze over because I completely agree with you stlrz...

Exactly, this guy wants controlling interest so he CAN CONTROL the team. His decisions will go no matter who the figurehead is...and if he sucks at it we're screwed. Lets quit the homer crap. An ownership change is not always good...and there is a reason why a majority of teams have had owners for a long period of time and continue to have them manage the franchise...its stability...and the Steelers have had the most stable franchise in maybe the history of the NFL as of late and it wont be so if Drunkenmiller gains control. There is a reason why he wants control..........and its b/c he wants control and he doesnt want to be told NO. Why doesnt he want to have to "bid" and make "his best off"? B/c he DOESNT want to be told NO! Many very rich people are like that and I DONT want that kind of individual as the owner of OUR Pittsburgh Steelers. Sorry.

NKySteeler
07-16-2008, 09:44 PM
And it doesn't matter at ALL who owns "controlling interest" in the Steelers?

Dont buy it.

:Agree

Obviously things change over time, but I almost view this as a simple "hostile takeover" in business terms... And more often than not, things change with such a move. ...

... Would any other owner given Cowher a contract extention that led to a SB victory?... I doubt it, but obviously can't say for sure... It's not that I don't like the guy, but rather that I doubt the intrinsic and moral character is there versus the value of winning to him, and the possible mistakes that could follow.... Look around the league for christ sakes... Theres' alot of folks with alot of money, but they don't have what we do....

stlrz d
07-16-2008, 10:25 PM
Benny and others - It's not automatically a guarantee that it's a bad thing either.

Jom - It was bound to happen sooner or later. :D

costanza2k1
07-16-2008, 10:31 PM
It's funny and sad that the Steeler nation fans went from calling Dan a cheap a$$ and claiming they could run the team better to now almost coming to tears hoping that he remains in control and owner.

buckeyehoppy
07-16-2008, 10:43 PM
I've read all the views on the handling of the ownership transfer thus far.

I'll say that I completely understand what NKy and BB2112 have said. I would think that it would be fair to say that Druckenmiller wants, eventually, to have a controlling interest...and he'll probably get it assuming he follows through with his bid and he gets league approval.

In the short term, however, I believe that Druckenmiller will be kept on a short leash by the NFL regarding control of the franchise. The Baltimore situation is the test case for this scenario playing out. Biscotti was permitted majority ownership but only after Modell was "grandfathered" out. I can easily see a scenario like that occurring in Pittsburgh where Druckenmiller assumes majority ownership but with the condition of Dan Rooney staying on as chairman until a time where he determines he will drop out.

Eventually, Druckenmiller will assume the control that comes with ownership. But I believe the league will have their say regarding any potential exodus of Dan Rooney from the scene. Dan has too much clout in the league for it not to play out in this fashion.

At the end of the day, it will be sad that the Rooney family will be effectively relegated to minority status in the Steelers business. But that is how business works.

I will reserve judgment on whether this will be a good or bad thing for the Steelers after the inner workings of this deal have had a chance to play out for a while.

BigBen2112
07-16-2008, 11:35 PM
The sad thing? The Rooneys could go from the best and most revered owners in the game....to 3rd fiddle. If they sell 48% (3 brothers stocks) to Drunkenmiller then they will only have 16%. It will be a tragedy.

BigBen2112
07-16-2008, 11:40 PM
Oh and FYI, I dont know how many will agree with this, BUT...With the way sports in general are going now--steroid scandal, cheating scandal in NFL, ref game fixing in NBA, and etc--the NFL and sports in general need the type of good publicity that the Rooneys consistently and constantly give the league and sports in general. They are the essence of stability in a time that sports are going through a ton of problems. Just my opinion.

stlrz d
07-16-2008, 11:44 PM
It's funny and sad that the Steeler nation fans went from calling Dan a cheap a$$ and claiming they could run the team better to now almost coming to tears hoping that he remains in control and owner.

Interesting point...never thought of it that way. It would be interesting to go over to that other board and somehow find every "cheap ass Rooneys" post to see who was putting them out there.

LasVegasGuy
07-17-2008, 01:44 AM
Does ANYONE else think it is very suspicious that this dude is THAT pushy about getting majority ownership of the team? He wont accept anything less than "controlling interest." I find that VERY suspicious no matter what others say...that is really odd. Even if he owned 16% of the team he'd still be an "owner" and thus I dont find any plausible explanation, except some skepticism and suspicion, for why he wants, so vehemently, a "controlling interest" in the team. Sorry, but that's just kinda suspicious to me.


I don't want to see "another owner" we already have 5. I want to see one guy take charge and make all the decisions. I bet you couldn't find 5 people right now to agree on the weather let alone the day to day operations of the Steelers. Maybe a majority owner is not such a bad thing. Especially an owner that is passionate about being the top dog maybe that rubs off on the way he will run the Steelers.

Four of those five make no decisions regarding the day-to-day operations of the team. Dan fired Art Jr. 20 years ago when the drafts of the 80's weren't living up to the drafts of the 70's, and the other three were never involved in running the team in any capacity whatsoever...they ran the horse track and dog tracks. They don't even live in Pittsburgh.

You may be right but I find it hard to believe they aren't involved some how, some way with the decisions regarding "their" investment. Especially Art Jr. who probably loves nothing more then to be a thorn in the side of Dan.

NKySteeler
07-17-2008, 12:05 PM
...Here's an update on the lease agreement issue......
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Outside sale OK in Steelers' lease
Flaherty still insists public has a role
Thursday, July 17, 2008
By Timothy McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Though Allegheny County Controller Mark Flaherty says the Steelers' lease for Heinz Field gives the city and county oversight of team ownership changes -- and could require a buyer outside the Rooney family to pay back more than $200 million in public stadium subsidies -- that does not seem to be what the lease agreement says in full.

In a letter to the Steelers' ownership and during a news conference yesterday, Flaherty pointed to a part of the 2000 lease agreement saying changes and transfers in team ownership are acceptable within the Rooney and McGinley families without getting consent by the Sports & Exhibition Authority.

Another part of the lease, which the controller did not address, speaks directly to outside ownership changes -- and says they are acceptable, with no input from the city-county agency either, as long as the sale conforms to NFL rules, and the SEA is notified once a sale is completed.

A section of the agreement titled "Ownership and Control" says "any change in the ownership of the capital stock of the Lessee [the Steelers] or any change in the ownership of the franchise will be made in accordance with the financial and ownership criteria and standards of the NFL ... The Lessee agrees that upon entering into any commitment to sell or transfer the franchise, the Lessee shall provide written notification to the Commonwealth and the Authority."

The agreement also says repeatedly the team cannot be moved from Heinz Field for the duration of the 291/2 year lease, and if the team is sold, new owners also are barred from relocating.

Flaherty issued his warning to Steelers shareholders -- Rooney brothers Art Jr., Dan, John, Pat and Tim, who share 80 percent of the team, and the McGinley family, which has 20 percent -- after learning of ongoing talks among the Rooneys about selling their team shares, perhaps to Steelers chairman Dan Rooney or to outside investors.

Since the value of the Steelers franchise has tripled in some estimates since the publicly financed Heinz Field was built, Flaherty argued that taxpayers should be involved in sales talks and local government is due some portion of sale proceeds.

"That's the argument I'm making to the shareholders. While they're working through their discussions and negotiations, don't forget about the partnership that existed originally when you came to us and asked for us to be a partner with you in your stadium -- and through that partnership, the value of your franchise, your investment, has significantly increased.

"And I just think that the public deserves a seat at the table in any type of negotiation discussions in what's going to happen to the franchise," he told reporters.

Flaherty is close friends with Steelers business director Mark Hart and attended high school with Arthur Rooney III, Art Jr.'s son, among other family connections. Asked if he was trying to pressure the family away from selling to an outsider -- by demanding a repayment of public subsidies and saying he might sue the team -- he said he was only acting as the county's fiscal watchdog.

"That's the really hard part of the situation ... you have to put the emotions and friendships aside and do what's best for the taxpayers, and that's what I feel I'm doing," he said.

Flaherty said he knew of no precedents of a government body sharing in the sales proceeds of a privately owned sports franchise.