TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The Steelers deal: Shhhhhh! Secret!

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Tribune-Review

Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are cashing in on a credit — part of the franchise's original lease deal — allowing them to avoid a $25 million rent payment on Heinz Field for the first 10 years of operations. The team supposedly met offsetting tax revenue minimums.

But there's all manner of hinkiness involved.

Taxpayers footed most of the bill for the new $281 million North Shore stadium, including a $75 million “grant” from the state. But the Steelers' lease (as does the Pittsburgh Pirates' for PNC Park) forgives repayment if tax revenues generated by the facility exceed that $25 million. Well, not exactly.

The $25 million threshold is satisfied by multiplying actual tax revenues by 7.5, a multiplier that one sports economist calls “outrageous” and “egregious.”

Additionally, state officials and the Steelers won't release the “baseline” number to which the multiplier was applied. The former cite tax confidentiality laws. Convenient, eh?

In the new debate over whether the public should be on the hook for a nearly $40 million Heinz Field expansion, the Steelers claim to have generated $100 million for local and state governments. Is that a real number? Is that the “multiplier” number? And if the information is so confidential, so proprietary, why did the Steelers throw it out? And shouldn't that disclosure lead to opening the ledger for a full and public accounting?

Public facility. Public money. Shhhhhh! Secret! The public be damned. Again.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Fire destroys Eau Claire market, no injuries reported
  2. Pa. unemployment rate at the lowest since 2008; more workers finding jobs
  3. Survivors in critical condition a day after fifth Armstrong County car crash victim dies
  4. Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
  5. Breaking down Saturday’s Pirates-Brewers game
  6. Captain of sunken ferry arrested, South Korean agency reports
  7. Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
  8. Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
  9. Chat with Dejan Kovacevic: April 18, 2014
  10. Pirates Charities 50/50 raffle to benefit We Are FR Fund
  11. Police investigate shooting in Muddy Creek
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.