Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney and son, president Art Rooney II, plan to buy out the rest of the family's shares to make sure the NFL team stays in Rooney hands.
Dan, the eldest son of late team founder Art Rooney, wants to keep the 75-year-old franchise in family control while his four brothers want to focus their efforts on their racetracks and other interests, which conflict with the NFL's strict non-gambling policies.
Dan and his son, Art Rooney II, are arranging a financing plan to buy the other Rooney brothers' shares in order to continue substantial ownership of the franchise by the Rooneys.
"I have spent my entire life devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football League," said Dan (pictured with the Super Bowl trophy). "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."
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 own a minority interest in the team. The Rooney family also owns racetracks in New York and Florida.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported the franchise was secretly being shopped to potential buyers. According to the Journal, Pittsburgh businessman, Duquesne Capital Management founder Stanley Druckenmiller, had expressed interest.
But Art Rooney II has aimed to put devoted Steelers fans' minds at rest. "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," he said in a team announcement.
One of the oldest and most storied teams in the NFL, the team has won five Super Bowls and been home to Hall of Fame players such as Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and Lynn Swann. Its last Super Bowl win was 2006.
Dan Rooney was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and has been described as a central figure in NFL operations.