Pittsburgh Steelers team chairman Dan Rooney is of course in New York for the Super Bowl festivities this week and he had some interesting comments pertaining to the city of Pittsburgh potentially hosting a future Super Bowl.
According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Rooney said Pittsburgh will never bid for a Super Bowl because of a lack of hotel space, but that he is, however, open to more cold-weather cities hosting future Super Bowls.
Rooney’s comments probably won’t be popular with those in charge of promoting tourism in Pittsburgh, who chimed in on the matter in an interview with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review after Super Bowl XLVIII was awarded to the New York/New Jersey area in 2010.
“I’d be more than happy to put in a bid for it, said Joe McGrath, who at that time was the president of Visit Pittsburgh. I tried to convince the Steelers before they built the new stadium to put a dome on it. Frankly they said, “Our fans won’t go for that.” I said, “But we can get a Super Bowl.” They said, “Eh, we get enough.” … But it does make a tremendous difference in our January.”
As far as the seating capacity of Heinz Field goes, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported that when and if they ever add the 3,000 extra seats to boost seating capacity at Heinz Field to 68,500, it still won’t be enough. Only five of the 48 Super Bowls (including this one) will have been played before crowds of fewer than 70,000, reported Bouchette.
As a consolation, Steelers president Art Rooney II has said he would like to see the NFL Draft come to Pittsburgh, so it looks like fans will have to potentially settle for that.