Monday, December 15, 2008
Owners may vote on Steelers restructured ownership plan
PITTSBURGH -- NFL owners may vote on Wednesday whether to accept the restructured ownership plan in which Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney and his son will buy most of the shares owned by other family members.
The NFL finance committee "thoroughly reviewed the transaction today [Monday] and it is on the league meeting agenda for consideration by the clubs on Wednesday," the league said in an e-mail.
The finance committee is chaired by Tom Benson of the New Orleans Saints and includes eight other owners.
To be approved, at least 24 of the 32 franchises must vote in favor of the restructuring.
Two of Rooney's four brothers plan to sell their 16 percent stakes and the other two, Art Jr. and John, will sell 8 percent each to Dan Rooney and son Art Rooney II, the team president.
The Jack McGinley family, which owns 20 percent of the franchise, will also sell some shares.
The restructuring was mandated by the NFL to bring the Steelers into compliance with league rules that the principal owner owns at least 30 percent of the club. Previously, Dan Rooney owned only the same 16 percent stake as his brothers.
The NFL also bars owners from being involved in racing or gambling. The two Rooney brothers who are selling their full shares, Pat and Tim, operate race tracks in Florida and New York.
The five brothers acquired their stakes when Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., their father, died in 1988. The McGinleys bought into the team when Art Rooney Sr. sold the Steelers in 1941, only to regain them later that year.