Steelers consider adding 4,000 seats to Heinz Field
The Steelers are considering adding as many as 4,000 seats in Heinz Field.
The Steelers said Monday that construction could begin in 2012 if the team moves forward with the expansion project in the North Shore stadium, which seats 65,050.
Mary Conturo, executive director of the Stadium Authority and the Sports & Exhibition Authority, said the seats would be in the south end of the stadium, under the scoreboard, and would not change the overall footprint of the stadium.
"They're just beginning to look at whether this is feasible or not," Conturo said. "Financially, more seats generate more revenue for the city and the authority. If it's feasible, it's certainly worth considering."
Conturo said Art Rooney II, the Steelers president and co-owner, briefed Stadium Authority board members individually about the expansion plans before the authority's public meeting yesterday. Rooney could not be reached for comment.
The Steelers said a decision on whether to expand seating by between 2,500 and 4,000 seats wouldn't be made for another year.
Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said that it was "too preliminary for us" for discussions on who would pay for the expansion.
The Steelers contributed about $76.5 million and state and county taxpayers paid $281 million for the stadium that opened in 2001.
The team said a preview of what the expansion might look like will occur Saturday, as temporary stands were built for Saturday's NHL Winter Classic hockey game. More than 67,000 fans are expected for the game between the Penguins and the Washington Capitals.
The temporary stands in the stadium's south plaza will remain in place for any playoff games that the Steelers host.
If the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, they are guaranteed at least one playoff game.
The Steelers said they wanted to alert the authority to the expansion plans because of the effect the additional fans at football games and other events would have on parking.
The authority, which oversees development of the land between Heinz Field and PNC Park, agreed to spend $20,000 to study parking on the North Shore.
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.