More fans in the stands at Heinz Field?
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The Steelers are considering adding several thousand seats to Heinz Field, team President Art Rooney II said today, following discussions with public officials.
"It's probably somewhere between 2,500 and 4,000, and it would be in the south end zone," Mr. Rooney said in an interview. "Since we moved into Heinz Field, obviously we've been studying the demand for tickets. ... We feel satisfied at this point that there's certainly enough demand to consider expanding capacity."
The stadium seats about 65,000 and Steeler games are sellouts.
Mr. Rooney said an addition of temporary seating for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic hockey game will serve as a test run for the project.
He said the team is using architectural firm Populous, formerly HOK Sport and the designer of both of the city's stadiums, to plan the expansion. It will not involve any change to the stadium's footprint.
"We'll probably take another year of studying it before we make any final decisions," he said, adding that construction would not start until 2012, at the earliest.
He said there are "a number of possibilities" regarding the type of seating to be added. "There will definitely be some general seating, reserve seating, and possibly some club seating."
Mr. Rooney today discussed the emerging plan with Stadium Authority officials, who then voted to study the parking needs of the North Shore.
"The parking piece of the puzzle is an important component to it," Mr. Rooney said. "If we're going to have that many more seats, there's obviously got to be somewhere for [fans] to park."
First Published December 27, 2010 4:40 pm