For the past two years the Rooney family has had discussions about a restructuring of the family's ownership of the Steelers in order to ensure compliance with NFL ownership policies and the continuation of Rooney family ownership and operation of the team.
Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the oldest son of late team founder Art Rooney, wants to stay in the football business while some of his four brothers plan to get out of the NFL and focus their business efforts on their racetracks and other interests. Dan Rooney, and his son, Steelers President Art Rooney II, are arranging a financing plan to buy Dan's brothers' shares in the team in order to continue substantial ownership of the franchise by the Rooneys.
The other Rooney brothers -– Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John -– each currently has an ownership interest in the Steelers. Another related family, the McGinleys, also owns a minority interest in the team. The Rooney family owns racetracks in New York and Florida, and like many in recent years, these facilities have added forms of gaming that are inconsistent with NFL gambling policy.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asked former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to serve as a league representative in discussions with the family in order to reach an agreement on the separation of the gambling interests and on a restructuring of ownership going forward if part of the team is sold.
Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney stated, "I have spent my entire life devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football League. 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."
Steelers President Art Rooney II stated, "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."