The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers have earned a legendary status, owing to their impressive track record of success and dedicated fan following. But have you ever wondered who owns the Steelers? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into who owns the Steelers and their history.
Who Owns the Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers were founded in 1933 by Art Rooney, a successful businessman who owned several racetracks and had a passion for sports. Rooney purchased the team for just $2,500 and named it after the city’s dominant industry, steel.
During their initial years, the Steelers faced difficulties in achieving triumphs on the field, as evidenced by their subpar record of losses over the first 16 seasons. However, the team’s fortunes began to change in the 1970s, when Art Rooney’s son Dan took over ownership of the team.
Dan Rooney’s Impact
Dan Rooney was a visionary owner who had a profound impact on the Steelers and the NFL as a whole. The Steelers won six Super Bowls under him.
But Dan Rooney’s impact went beyond the field of play. He played a pivotal role in advocating diversity and inclusivity within the NFL, and was instrumental in developing the “Rooney Rule.” This rule mandates that NFL teams consider interviewing minority candidates for top-tier coaching and football operations roles.
Dan Rooney was also a respected voice in league matters, serving as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2012. He passed away in 2017, leaving a lasting legacy both on and off the field.
The Current Ownership Structure
Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers are owned by a group of Rooney family members, led by Art Rooney II, Dan Rooney’s son. The ownership structure of the team is unique, with the Rooney family holding a majority stake in the team despite facing financial challenges in the past.
The team’s ownership structure has been a subject of controversy in the past, with some critics arguing that it creates a lack of diversity among NFL ownership groups. However, the Rooney family has remained committed to keeping the team in the family and maintaining their control over the franchise.
Fact About The Steelers
Current owners of the Steelers in the wake of John Rooney’s death
John Rooney, son of Art Rooney, was a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and passed away in November 2021. He was one of five Rooney children and owned a 1% stake in the team at the time of his death, having sold most of his 16% share prior to that.
His passing is unlikely to have a significant impact on the ownership structure of the Steelers, which remains under the control of the Rooney family. The majority stake in the team is still held by the Rooney family, led by Art Rooney II.
Are the Steelers and the Giants owned by the same family?
John Mara and Steve Tisch are the owners of the New York Giants, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are owned by the Rooney family. Therefore, these two NFL teams are owned by separate families.
The Mara family has been involved with the Giants since the team’s inception, while the Tisch family acquired their stake in the team in 1991. It’s common for NFL teams to have diverse and complex ownership structures, with different families and individuals holding stakes in various teams.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ current market value
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a beloved NFL club, but they are not among the most valuable.
The current most valuable franchises in the NFL are the Dallas Cowboys ($8 billion), New England Patriots ($6.4 billion), Los Angeles Rams ($6.2 billion), New York Giants ($6 billion), and Chicago Bears ($5.8 billion), with the potentially for-sale Washington Football Team ($5.6 billion) rounding out the list.
However, with a valuation of $4 billion, the Steelers are still a valuable franchise and far from worthless. The team’s consistent success on the field, loyal fanbase, and rich history have helped to solidify their position as one of the most iconic teams in sports.
Despite facing financial challenges in the past, the Rooney family has remained committed to keeping the team within the family and maintaining their control over the franchise.
The Rooney family’s ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers is a fascinating and inspiring story of success, perseverance, and family legacy. From the early days of Art Rooney’s ownership to the visionary leadership of Dan Rooney and the current stewardship of Art Rooney II, the Steelers have remained one of the most successful and beloved teams in the NFL.
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