Rooney says Pittsburgh is 'good place' for next northern Super Bowl
PHOENIX — The Steelers have won the most Super Bowls.
Their iconic founding family wants to bring one to Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, I think it should happen,” chairman Dan Rooney said Friday after taking in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's annual pre-Super Bowl address at Phoenix Convention Center.
“As of last year, the (New York) Giants have had one. There have been games in Minnesota and Detroit, places like that. So now you think about it.
“Of course, you'll have a lot of teams in the Northeast that will want one, but I think Pittsburgh would be a good place for the next one in the North.”
Rooney said he has not broached the subject with Goodell.
“But some of our people have talked to some of the league people,” Rooney said.
Heinz Field, which would play host to any Pittsburgh Super Bowl, is undergoing an expansion that will bring the capacity for football games to 67,440. Since 2000, only three Super Bowl games have been played in front of crowds of fewer than 70,000, with San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium attracting the smallest crowd (67,603 in 2003).
Cities bidding for the Super Bowl must meet large demands for hotel rooms. Goodell has said at least 30,000 rooms must be available. However, Minneapolis will welcome the Super Bowl in 2018 and reportedly has pledged about 19,000 full-service rooms.
Smith Travel pegs the number of hotel rooms in the greater Pittsburgh region at just short of 25,000.
The NFL never had staged the Super Bowl in a typically cold-weathered city unless that stadium was domed, but the game was played last year in unseasonably mild temperatures at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Goodell has said “some new blood” will be in the mix for the next Super Bowl opening in 2019. Cities such as Kansas City, Mo., Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver and Boston reportedly are interested.
Pittsburgh is a smaller market than those towns, but its team's Super Bowl legacy is without equal.
“I don't know if that should be a big part of it with us getting a Super Bowl,” Rooney said of the Steelers' six Lombardi trophies. “But I'm sure it will come up in the talks.”