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Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby StillerInCT » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:58 am

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121546397767833575.html?mod=hps_us_whats_news

This may be the worst news I've heard in a while. I'd hate for the teams majority ownership to fall into the wrong hands.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby Steeledge » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:01 am

StillerInCT wrote:This may be the worst news I've heard in a while...


...worse even than Big Ben's "windshield biting" incident...


Right after the Rooney's get voted the best owners, they go and pull some shit like this.

And old Fuckenmiller's promise to keep Dan around to "run the team"? Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts...

When The Chief bequeathed the inheritance, he basically fucked the Steelers. Why? Because although greed and stupidity might skip a generation, it's the short-sighted, asinine, selfish grandkids that will stroll in and destroy each other trying to split with their piece of the loot.

Now you've got the five sons, who of themselves are doing OK by the team, but their kids are the ignorant fucks that will be our ruination. It seems like they could seriously care less about the iconic stature, the history, or tradition of this franchise, and that they could give a rat's ass about our team or each other.

This could get really ugly. They had seriously better pull their heads out and let Dan be the one to buy them out, or it will be years until we're over it, if ever...
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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby Steeledge » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:24 am

More on this from the AP

Art Rooney II says the discussions should have no affect on the team or its fans. The Steelers, who won the AFC North with a 10-6 record last season, open training camp July 27.

“There is no reason to believe that the current internal discussions will have any impact on our fans or on our team this season or in the seasons to come,” Art Rooney II said.


...yeah...right...what-fucking-ever! :x :cry:
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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby Thor1970 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:19 am

There was an article in todays Wall Street Journal (7-8-08) regarding the situation, and the fact that 2 major investment banks have been hired one by Dan and one by the other siblings. The fact the Drunkenmiller is a Steelers fan may not be a bad thing. I worry about the upcoming negotations on the CBA, it may be good for the Steelers to have someone like Drunkenmiller as part owner in the future.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby sarka196 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:14 pm

Guess we'll find out if blood is thicker than their checkbooks.
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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby thesteelhammer » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:50 pm

Good articles on ESPN.com on the situation
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3479062
A deal could be reached within days to sell a majority interest in the Pittsburgh Steelers to the chairman of a Pittsburgh-based investment firm, taking control of the NFL franchise away from the Rooney family.


[+] EnlargeScott Boehm/Getty Images

Former Steelers owner Art Rooney is an icon in Pittsburgh. But family control of the franchise may be in question as Rooney's heirs decide what to do with their shares of the NFL franchise.

The shares would be sold to Stanley Druckenmiller, chairman of Duquesne Capital management, making him principal owner of the team. Two officials familiar with the talks identified the buyer as Druckenmiller and said Monday that the deal could be completed by the end of the week. They declined to be identified because they were not directly involved in negotiations.

Druckenmiller's interest was first reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal, which said a secret study by Goldman Sachs valued the franchise at between $800 million and $1.2 billion. The report came a day after Dan Rooney said he and his son, team president Art Rooney II, were attempting to buy out his four brothers in an effort to retain "substantial ownership of the team."

Each brother owns 16 percent of the team, adding up to 80 percent, with another Pittsburgh family, the McGinleys, owning 20 percent.

Even if the deal with Druckenmiller goes through, it would still need approval by 24 of the league's 32 owners. Dan Rooney is, without question, the most influential and respected member of that group.

During the past 40 years, Rooney has helped resolve labor disputes, promoted racial diversity within the league and helped elect Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell as commissioners.

The impending sale is the result of a feud among members of one of sport's most renowned families and has been simmering about two years.

The 75-year-old Rooney is the oldest of five brothers. Their father, Art, bought the franchise in 1933 for $2,500.

Dan and Art are enshrined in Pro Football's Hall of Fame.

The other four brothers -- Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John -- want to drop their interest in the Steelers to concentrate on their race track and other interests, many of which involve the gambling industry. The Rooney family owns race tracks in New York and Florida and has added forms of gaming that are inconsistent with NFL gambling policy.

Goodell has asked Tagliabue to represent the league on Dan Rooney's behalf in talks to reach an agreement on a separation of the gambling interests and restructured ownership if part of the team is sold.

Rooney said in a statement Monday that with Tagliabue's help, he was attempting to put together a financing plan that would buy out his brothers and their families over a period of time.

"For the past two years, the Rooney family has had discussions about a restructuring of the ownership of the Steelers in order to ensure compliance with the NFL ownership policies and the continuation of the Rooney family ownership and operation of the team," the team said in the statement.

"I have spent my entire life devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football League," Dan Rooney said in the statement. "I will do everything possible to work out a solution to ensure my father's legacy of keeping the Steelers in the Rooney family and in Pittsburgh for at least another 75 years."

Druckenmiller did not immediately return a call placed to his office by The Associated Press.

Although he lives primarily in New York, he frequently attends Steelers games and is said to want to include Dan and Art Rooney II in his ownership group.



Good Q&A also:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=3478129
By John Clayton
ESPN.com

Updated: July 8, 2008

News that the Rooney family must restructure its ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers caught sports fans off guard. Dan Rooney and his son, Art, run what is considered the most stable and one of the most well-operated franchises in the NFL. A family-run business since the late Art Rooney Sr. purchased the team in 1933, the Steelers went public with the news after two years of stalled negotiations. Here are answers to five primary questions about the ownership reorganization.


Q: Why do the Rooneys have to restructure?



A: In many ways, this reorganization was inevitable. Art Rooney Sr.'s legacy was the Steelers and racing. In the early 1970s, Art purchased a dog track in West Palm Beach, Fla., a harness horse racing track in Yonkers, N.Y., and other racing investments. His five sons -- Dan, Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John -- own the majority of the Steelers' stock, divided in five equal shares. Dan ran the Steelers. Most of the other brothers handled the racing interests. In 2006, video slots were added to Yonkers Raceway, but NFL ownership rules prohibit gambling interests as investments for team owners. To comply with league rules, the Rooneys either had to divest their ownership shares in the Steelers or eliminate the slots. The decision of some of the brothers was to keep the slots and enter into buyout negotiations with Dan and Art II. Two years of talks have not produced a deal.



Q: Is there any fear the Steelers might leave Pittsburgh?



A: None. Because of the loyalty of Steelers fans and the success of Heinz Field, the Steelers are a successful business. The team generates $200 million in revenue and profits are reportedly at $20 million a year. The franchise is worth between $800 million and $1.2 billion. To move a franchise, a team must post financial losses for a few years. That's not happening in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are a winner on and off the field. The Steelers brand is one of the best in sports. The plan is for Dan and Art II to buy out some of Dan's four brothers, which will have an impact on operating expenses in years to come because they will have to borrow money to buy out their family members.


Q: Will the Steelers stay under the direction of Dan and Art II?



A: Most likely, but major changes in ownership must occur. According to one plan, Dan offered $35 million to each brother and the McGinley family, which owns 20 percent of the team, for a 5 percent stake in the Steelers. The brothers believe the price of the shares should be higher, so talks continue. To fund these transactions, Dan and Art II probably need to come up with a new partner, and the name being mentioned is Pittsburgh billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, the chairman of Duquesne Capital Management. Druckenmiller, who's worth $3 billion, once lived in Pittsburgh, and was a loyal fan. He lives in New York now, but still has a company office in Pittsburgh.

Q: How is the league office handling the situation?


A: The league is sensitive to the Rooney ownership issues and isn't putting any pressure on the family. The league has imposed no deadline for resolution, and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue has offered his services as a consultant to mediate the situation. The league wants Dan and Art II to continue to run the Steelers, and it wants to make sure the team doesn't incur more debt than is manageable. That support has bought the organization two years to solve this problem. Even though the league has been working with the Steelers for those two years, it never leaked any of the details to the media. Years of being a model franchise earned the Steelers that perk.


Q: What will be the final resolution?



A: Ultimately, Dan and Art II should end up continuing to run the Steelers. Once the brothers who want to sell settle on the value of those shares, deals will be worked out. It probably means that a noncontrolling new partner such as Druckenmiller will be brought in as an investor. Budgets might be a little tighter because of a new debt load, but the Steelers should still be the Steelers in the end.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby GodfatherofSoul » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:15 am

Doesn't sound as bad as it seems on second reading. Apparently, this is more of a good faith sale, but the siblings want a fat payout if they sell out and get stuck with some subpar racing/gambling venues. I can't see the siblings being stupid enough to not make a deal at some point since not doing so will make them pariahs (I bet leading to boycotts of the other Rooney businesses). Honestly, if I were them I'd sell of all the gambling assets and throw all their chips in with the football team. Do they really want to sell out just to keep a casino and a dog track?

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby Yazman of Steel » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:19 am

With a season coming up w/ no salary cap, someone who will put up 800 grand to build a bridge for a golf course is not a bad guy to have as part owner.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby thesteelhammer » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:16 pm


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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby brianj52 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:59 pm

I can see it now... Steelers move out of town in a bottle of Heinz 57 during the night.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby thesteelhammer » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:45 pm

It just all makes me sick.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08193/896345-66.stm

Investor confirms talks with 5 Rooneys
Friday, July 11, 2008
By Dan Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller acknowledged yesterday that he is interested in purchasing the Steelers and pledged that "any resolution involving me will guarantee the team remains in Pittsburgh."

"I am more than aware how uniquely important the Steelers are to the city," he said in a short statement.

The chairman of Duquesne Capital Management has talked to both sides of the Rooney family -- the four brothers who hired Wall Street investment bank Goldman, Sachs & Co. to evaluate offers for their shares, and the fifth brother, Dan, who wants to buy out his four brothers and become majority owner of the Steelers. At the same time, Dan and his son Art II are also trying to line up other investors to buy all, or even a portion, of the shares held by Art Jr., Tim, Pat and John.

"My primary objective," Mr. Druckenmiller said, "is to do what is in the best interests of the Pittsburgh Steeler franchise, the fans, the city of Pittsburgh, the Rooney and McGinley families and the National Football League." The Rooneys control 80 percent and the McGinleys control the other 20 percent.

The Rooney family, he said, "is working through a number of complicated issues regarding the ownership structure ... I have been involved in these discussions and am interested in participating in a transaction that builds on the legacy of this great franchise and one that makes economic sense to everyone involved."

The comments are the first from Mr. Druckenmiller since his name surfaced earlier this week as a potential buyer. In breaking his silence, he expressed an "intent to keep my public comments to a minimum as the process moves forward."

He added: "One can only be in awe of the way this franchise has been operated for many decades and we are all in debt to Dan Rooney and the rest of the family for what that has meant to the city. Based on all the discussions in which I have been involved, it is the desire of the entire family to attain a result which provides similar success in the decades ahead.

"I hope to be involved in achieving that objective."

Mr. Druckenmiller, worth an estimated $3.5 billion, is not the only well-heeled investor with an interest in the Steelers. A prominent out-of-town family has also contacted the Rooneys, said a source close to the Rooney family. This family is "huge" and "bigger than anybody in Pittsburgh," according to the source, and like Mr. Druckenmiller has the wherewithal to pull off a deal without participation from other investors.

Others who have contacted the family are people from Pittsburgh and around the country who can contribute tens of millions apiece, this source said.

Another source with knowledge of the negotiations said that the four brothers are dealing only with Mr. Druckenmiller. He said the brothers have been concerned for some time that the dividends paid to the shareholders -- the brothers and the McGinley family -- have been decreasing, though the brothers were led to believe that the proceeds would improve once the team moved to Heinz Field. That has not happened, however, in large part because of increasing player costs.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby indysteel » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:02 pm

Sad really...

I have given up on professional baseball and basketball due to the fighting, whining, and generally bad behavior. They can do whatever they want --- there just not going to do it with my money (at least that I'm aware of). It's the owners, the players, the agents --- piss on all of them. Really...who can afford it? Now they want you to pay just to have the right to bid on getting tickets? OK....I'll get right in line for that.

Professional basketball and baseball could go away tonight, never to return, and I would not care. If I never watch another game again, that's fine with me. Wasn't always like that. I really can't tell you who the world champs in either sport are right now --- and really don't give a damn either.

It's sad, but I'm about at that point with professional football.

Any change in the ownership of the Steeler's will be like selling the "family farm." Not sure it will be the same if that happens as all the tradition goes with it. Just gives me one more reason to move a bit "farther away" from the team...I will feel a bit more "distant"....a bit less emotionally attached......

Rooneys --- you do what you got to do. I'll do what I got to do. You can take your money, your team, etc....and shove it right in your MF'n ass.

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Re: Steelers being shopped around behind closed doors

Postby TheOldRanger » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:07 am

Oh, it's going to happen. We'll become just another franchise, no different than the godless Cowboys or the hapless Seahawks, or the crass KFC outlets or fucking goddamned Wal-Mart. Just another commodity to be bought and sold like a house or a fucking boat, and we'll be subject to the whims of whatever soulless rich prick who ends up with the team. Then, we'll begin to suffer the way the fans of the Washington Redskins have suffered for the past decade. Get ready folks.

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