Rooney wants Steelers to play game in Ireland
Entrenched in his role as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland but with his mind never far from Pittsburgh, Dan Rooney expressed interest this week in bringing an NFL regular-season game — and the Steelers — to the Emerald Isle.
In an interview with BBC Northern Ireland Sports, the influential Steelers chairman emeritus said he has discussed the prospect with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Sometime soon it would be good, and I think the commissioner would be interested in working something out,” Rooney said. “I'd like to see the Steelers involved, and if it could be worked out by the league, we would enjoy doing it.”
With the NFL filling London's soccer haven, Wembley Stadium, for one regular-season game each year since 2007 — part of the league's International Series — Rooney said he could envision the same happening at Dublin's Croke Park, an 82,500-seat venue that an NFL delegation visited last year.
“(The International Series) has proven very, very successful. In fact, that game sells out almost as soon as they put the tickets up,” he said. “The interest (in Dublin) in sports is, as it is in London, quite strong.”
The Steelers already have played a game in Croke Park, defeating Chicago in a 1997 preseason game. That was when the league often played exhibition games overseas as part of the American Bowl series.
Mark Waller, the NFL's chief marketing officer, acknowledged the challenges of traveling long distance.
“When we bring a team over, we are bringing over at least 150 personnel. That's for each team,” Waller told the BBC. “That's a massive infrastructural move, and — I want to stress this — with these overseas games, it also is in the middle of our season. So the logistics and planning side are key to the decision.”
Dan Stefano is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5697.
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.