Steelers explore stadium expansion, say they’d need more parking

The Pittsburgh Steelers, unhappy with the 65,000-seat capacity at nine-year-old Heinz Field, are looking into adding several thousand seats. The good news is that the Steelers are willing to pay for it:

The Steelers lease of the stadium, owned by the joint city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority, contemplates additions. This one would be privately funded, though some revenue from a surcharge on tickets could conceivably be used.

The bad news: Team owner Art Rooney notes, “If we’re going to have that many more seats, there’s obviously got to be somewhere for them to park,” and there currently aren’t enough parking spaces to go around near the stadium. It’s unclear at the moment whether the city is going to be asked to chip in for more parking to go along with the privately funded stadium expansion, but it’s definitely worth watching.

4 comments on “Steelers explore stadium expansion, say they’d need more parking

  1. Interesting. Pleased to see the Steelers step up a little on the stadium front.

    Semi unrelated question, Neil:

    As I do the math, the good people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have coughed up about $2Bn for sports facilities for their professional teams in the last decade or so. That is new construction only, and doesn’t take into account any unpaid debt/lease fees written down/off on the old facilities (which were, by and large, very old).

    Do you have any kind of global data (even informal) on how this is impacting Pennsylvania as a whole (I mean financially, not in the feel good “wooo, we got Michael Vick” kind of way)?

    It seems to me that Pennsylvania could provide a good case study on how “going all out” for your clubs can impact a state’s economy (either way).

    Any thoughts on how it is working for them so far?

  2. Heinz Field is always packed to capacity and could still easily sell another 8,000 to 10,000 seats per game.

    As for parking, if you have been to Heinz Field, then you know that the area could already use more parking, and this is before the addition of any more seats to the stadium.

    Go Steelers

  3. Instead of parking, couldn’t Pittsburgh improve mass transit to the game? Shuttle buses, encourage carpooling, install bike parking etc.

  4. Good thoughts, Steve.

    I guess the question I would have is, is the demand for additional parking solely related to events at the stadium? Or is it a more general need for parking for business in the area?

    If the former, transit is the way to go. If the parking will be used (and paid for) on a more routine basis, it might be a money maker for the city.