Pay like an Eagle
If the Philadelphia Eagles can expand and upgrade Lincoln Financial Field without putting taxpayers on the hook, why do the Pittsburgh Steelers insist that a publicly funded agency must cover most of the cost to expand and upgrade Heinz Field?
That funding discrepancy between the two NFL stadium expansion projects should incense local taxpayers. They're caught in the middle of the court fight between the Steelers and the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA) over who will pay for 3,000 additional seats, a second video scoreboard and other upgrades at Heinz Field.
The Steelers maintain that their Heinz Field lease requires the SEA to pay about $29 million of the renovations' $39.2 million cost, which, if bonds are required, could saddle the public with millions of dollars and many years of additional debt. The SEA disagrees. And the litigation only delays the project and increases its costs.
Yet there's no such time-consuming, money-wasting wrangling over the Eagles' similar, just-announced stadium renovation project. Privately financed, with financing assistance from the NFL, it will be completed before the Eagles' 2014 season begins — and won't add to taxpayers' burdens.
Had the Steelers chosen to pay for this expansion themselves — and make no mistake, this very profitable franchise has the financial wherewithal to do just that — the upgrades would be well on their way to being completed, the franchise well on its way to recouping its costs and the public would not be fretting about yet another dive into its pocketbook.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.