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RuthlessBurgher
11-15-2008, 12:33 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_598528.html


The deal is Dan: Brothers agree to sell Steelers
By Carl Prine
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, November 14, 2008

Four sons of deceased Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. have apparently agreed to sell a controlling stake of the team to their brother, Hall of Fame chairman Dan Rooney, and his son, Art II.

The deal could pay brothers Arthur Jr., Patrick, Timothy and John Rooney a total of $750 million after business debt is subtracted. The brothers hope to complete the deal before a meeting in December.

"We have a board meeting in December, but we hope that's just a formality and everything is out of the way by then," Art Jr. said.

Wall Street has estimated the value of the team at $800 million to $1.2 billion.

Word of the imminent deal came from brothers Patrick and Art Rooney Jr. They confirmed that rumors leaking out of the NFL are true: About $280 million of the deal will come from loans arranged by PNC and Dan Rooney will need to bring in an unknown number of equity partners he has yet to name.

The money will be paid out over a period of years still be negotiated. The team itself will form the collateral for the loans.

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell is analyzing the deal, and owners are willing to OK it as long as the Steelers remain in the Rooney family. Dan Rooney declined to comment.

Each of the five Rooney brothers controls a 16 percent stake in the team, with their relatives, the McGinley clan, holding the remaining 20 percent.

The franchise was founded in 1933 by Art Rooney Sr. with $2,500 he won at a horse race. The much-admired NFL owner and community icon died in 1988.

"It's a good deal. I'm happy for Dan. I'm happy for the rest of the family. I think young Art, Dan's son, will do a fine job," said Patrick, who left town in 1963 to found a string of successful horse and dog racing venues that now provide much of the family's wealth.

"I think we're doing the right thing."

Art Jr, the scouting genius who helped construct the Steelers' dynasty of the 1970s, said he would try to maintain a very small number of shares so that he can remain a fraction of team. He wants to see Dan Rooney's equity partners, but he believes they're a outstanding people.

"The outside investors, those are now going to be Dan's concern," added brother Patrick.

In September, New York hedge fund titan and philanthropist Stanley Druckenmiller yanked an $820 million cash offer after the Rooney brothers failed to reach a consensus on selling the team. The brothers felt they were being prodded to sell by two gathering storms: NFL bylaws that demanded they divest from increasingly lucrative casino gambling operations in Florida and New York and the November election of Democrat Barack Obama, who has suggested that as president he might work to hike estate and capital gains taxes.

"It was a struggle to get all of this back on track," Art Jr. said. "But everyone has been talking to each other and it seems we're all moving the right direction. It's been like you're in the service and you're on a long march through the sand -- three steps forward, then two steps back.

Although Druckenmiller has had nothing but good things to say about the Dan Rooney and his brothers, he declined to comment about the impending sale of the team he loves.

Spokesmen for PNC and the NFL also declined to comment.

Staff writers Salena Zito and John Harris contributed to this report.

Carl Prine can be reached at cprine@tribweb.com or 412-320-7826.

Iron Shiek
11-15-2008, 12:45 AM
Good lookin out. I was just gettin ready to post this.


Glad to see the issue has been resolved and they can move forward.

Ozey74
11-15-2008, 12:59 AM
:tt2

costanza2k1
11-15-2008, 03:58 AM
Glad to see this done in December in time for our Superbowl run.

steelz09
11-15-2008, 07:50 AM
That's great news. Congrats to the Rooney's for getting this done.

Now can we please sign a few FA's or keep our own players?

Discipline of Steel
11-15-2008, 08:19 AM
That's great news. Congrats to the Rooney's for getting this done.

Now can we please sign a few FA's or keep our own players?


Well, that leads to the next logial question about how this deal will affect the teams ability to sign free agent players. Will $280mil in debt handcuff the team in regards to buying a premier left tackle this offseason?

steelblood
11-15-2008, 08:30 AM
I have to say that this worries me quite a bit.

1. Colbert has been here too long and produced far too little.
2. We will not win any bidding wars with hundreds of millions in debt. In this economy, Rooney will be even more conservative. I hope I'm wrong.

stlrz d
11-15-2008, 10:41 AM
This news leaves me feeling bittersweet. I'm happy the tradition of the Rooneys owning the team continues but at the same time it sure would have helped to have an infusion of money not derived solely from football.

Druckenmiller made his riches by other means so the fate of the team (successes or failures) would not have determined his spending...and he insisted he would have let the Rooneys continue to do things their way. I believed him.

Bittersweet.

RuthlessBurgher
11-15-2008, 11:20 AM
Colbert has been here too long and produced far too little.

Colbert produced a Super Bowl championship. I don't know why he gets so little credit, since we consistently have had one of the most talented teams throughout the decade that he has been here.

Is it because of the current o-line woes? It is not like he has completely ignored the o-line in the draft.

In his 9 drafts in Pittsburgh, he has use a 1st round pick (Simmons), a 2nd round pick (Marvel), two 3rd round picks (Starks and Essex), three 4th round picks (Nkwenti, Colon, and Hills), two 5th round picks (Okobi and Stephenson), four 6th round picks (Lacy, Caylor, Kemoeatu, and Philip), and brought in Stapleton as an undrafted free agent.

Although the Mahan signing was a certain mistake (but at least he got a 7th round pick next season out of Tampa for him), he also was responsible for bringing in Jeff Hartings and Justin Hartwig.

At some point, it has got to be about the o-line coaches developing the young guys on the roster. Grimm worked well with the veterans like Hartings and Faneca, but he never truly developed any of these Colbert draft picks to become a Pro Bowler except for Marvel, who was taken in Colbert's first draft (which also happened to be Grimm's first year with the team).

Zeirlein has done nothing with this line but cause them to regress.

We had somebody defending Arians in another thread stating that he is not as bad as folks here make him out to be, so I will be the one here to get behind Colbert. He does need a solid draft of guys in the trenches this year. I hope the team is able to find someone competant to coach 'em up after Colbert selects them this time.

MeetJoeGreene
11-15-2008, 12:22 PM
I have to say that this worries me quite a bit.

1. Colbert has been here too long and produced far too little.
2. We will not win any bidding wars with hundreds of millions in debt. In this economy, Rooney will be even more conservative. I hope I'm wrong.

I think this is my worry too.
Of course maybe Druckenmiller is bankrupt now anyway.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-15-2008, 02:00 PM
I have to say that this worries me quite a bit.

1. Colbert has been here too long and produced far too little.
2. We will not win any bidding wars with hundreds of millions in debt. In this economy, Rooney will be even more conservative. I hope I'm wrong.

:Agree But the silver lining, if it can be called that, is that all the owners are probably being hit hard by the hard economic times now. This should help keep the playing field a bit more level, if the going price for top shelf players drops across the board.

Oviedo
11-15-2008, 04:44 PM
That's great news. Congrats to the Rooney's for getting this done.

Now can we please sign a few FA's or keep our own players?


Well, that leads to the next logial question about how this deal will affect the teams ability to sign free agent players. Will $280mil in debt handcuff the team in regards to buying a premier left tackle this offseason?

Sadly, I think this will become an example of winning the battle and losing the war.

The amount of money required by Dan Rooney to service his new debt load will have to be taken from the operating budget somehow someway. Unlike other new billionaire owners (Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones, etc.) the Rooney's do not have outside sources of income that they can tap into. The only additional revenue stream they can control is ticket prices. Other revenue to pay debt has to be diverted from their current funding streams which means something will have to be cut.

Entering an era that may have no salary cap this could be the day the Steelers take their first step to becoming the Pirates.

steelblood
11-15-2008, 07:26 PM
Colbert has been here too long and produced far too little.

Colbert produced a Super Bowl championship. I don't know why he gets so little credit, since we consistently have had one of the most talented teams throughout the decade that he has been here.

Is it because of the current o-line woes? It is not like he has completely ignored the o-line in the draft.

In his 9 drafts in Pittsburgh, he has use a 1st round pick (Simmons), a 2nd round pick (Marvel), two 3rd round picks (Starks and Essex), three 4th round picks (Nkwenti, Colon, and Hills), two 5th round picks (Okobi and Stephenson), four 6th round picks (Lacy, Caylor, Kemoeatu, and Philip), and brought in Stapleton as an undrafted free agent.

Although the Mahan signing was a certain mistake (but at least he got a 7th round pick next season out of Tampa for him), he also was responsible for bringing in Jeff Hartings and Justin Hartwig.

At some point, it has got to be about the o-line coaches developing the young guys on the roster. Grimm worked well with the veterans like Hartings and Faneca, but he never truly developed any of these Colbert draft picks to become a Pro Bowler except for Marvel, who was taken in Colbert's first draft (which also happened to be Grimm's first year with the team).

Zeirlein has done nothing with this line but cause them to regress.

We had somebody defending Arians in another thread stating that he is not as bad as folks here make him out to be, so I will be the one here to get behind Colbert. He does need a solid draft of guys in the trenches this year. I hope the team is able to find someone competant to coach 'em up after Colbert selects them this time.

I think, to some degree, you've made my point for me. We have a mess on the offensive line. Colbert has drafted one good starting offensive lineman in 9 years - Smith. Simmons, Colon, and Kemo are starters that you'd generally like to upgrade. Hartings was a good FA signing and so was Stapleton. But, Colbert has not drafted good starting lineman on either side of the ball. You win and lose at the line, and the cupboards are really bare for us.

Starlifter
11-15-2008, 11:42 PM
I don't want to turn this into a political debate - and yes, i'm pleased to see the Rooney's will keep control BUT am I the only one to see the hypocrisy here?
The Rooney family is the City of Pittsburgh's most famous Democrats. They endorsed President-Select Obama and campaigned for him.

Today it was reported they have likely reached a deal selling a majority of the team to Dan Rooney and his son Art Jr. They're moving quickly however to get the deal done. why? simple:

At least three of the five Rooney brothers want to sell their equal shares in the team partly to avoid costly future inheritance taxes for their children and grandchildren.

“We’re all hanging our hats that we get it done before the change in the administration,” which could lead to higher taxes, Art Rooney Jr. said.

I'm sorry, this is the kind of hypocrisy that really pisses me off. spread the wealth, make the rich pay their 'fair share'.......just not with my money dammit.

I love the Steelers, but the Rooney's don't get a pass from me on this one.....

SteelTorch
11-16-2008, 12:59 AM
Well, the Bengals fans won't be happy about this. Half of them were praying we'd move to LA. :lol:

buckeyehoppy
11-16-2008, 11:35 AM
No matter what happens in this country politically, Dan and Art II will have to be smart enough in their administration of this team to keep a competitive product on the pitch at Heinz Field.

If it is an economic issue, It seems apparent at this point that it will be up to Dan and Art II to make some rain and get some partners who will help to foot the bill if being cash strapped is going to be a problem.

It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for Dan and Art II to consider bringing in investors. So long as Dan and Art II keep at least 41% of the team, they hold the majority, so it will be all good. The McGinley 20% will probably always remain the McGinley 20%.

Hopefully, Dan and Art II will be wise with the way they govern their money and diversify their holdings outside football. Perhaps they can be involved in the other brothers non-gaming ventures?

If it's about having a competitive team, Dan and Art II will have to be much smarter about the people they entrust to assemble football players into a unit worthy of being called the Pittsburgh Steelers. This will especially be true if the league unwisely dumps the salary cap.

Having a guy like Colbert around who only sees the first round tree amid the seven round draft forest will not cut it if Dan and Art II can't trust him (and they shouldn't) to assemble a wire-to-wire draft filled with prospects that can't eventually emerge to make rosters and fill the wide array of roles that football teams routinely depend on. If the salary cap waves bye-bye and the Steelers end up needing to draft well to avoid paying for high priced FAs, I can guarantee that Dan and Art II will see That @$$hole Colbert in a newly realized light. It might not be pretty.

I am sure that Dan and Art II will emerge from their current belt tightening with a stronger organization. These guys are not stupid people, even if it looks like they are in over their financial heads at present. It needs to also be kept in mind that nothing has been finalized. Dan and Art II will have to be creative with the way they structure this deal so they don't set themselves into a hellish debt load right off the bat.

But, overall, there is no way that keeping the team in the Rooney family's hands isn't a good thing.