NFL gathers Rooneys to mediate deal for Steelers
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will arrange a meeting among the five Rooney brothers within the next few weeks to help mediate the possible ownership change in the Steelers.
Mr. Goodell called the meeting after former commissioner Paul Tagliabue -- who has been working as a consultant on the matter -- briefed him on the state of ownership talks, he told reporters at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.
Some of the brothers want to sell and they've lined up a buyer, billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, who is willing to acquire a controlling interest in the club but has no interest in minority ownership. Steelers chairman Dan Rooney has made two offers to his brothers that were rejected and recently made a third, according to a family source, that is being considered.
The brothers have been trying over the past two years to find a way to abide by NFL rules regarding ownership of their racetrack-casinos, as well as the Steelers. NFL rules forbid team owners to be involved in any kind of casino gambling.
The Rooneys own a dog track in Florida and a horse track in New York, and each has added some type of casino gambling over the past several years.
Dan Rooney, who has divested his stock in the tracks, and his son, team President Art Rooney II, have been talking to other possible investors so they can become principle owners. Each of the five brothers owns 16 percent of the club's stock with the McGinley family owning the other 20 percent.
Dan's brother Art also has divested himself of 90 percent of his racetrack stock and plans to do so with the remainder. Brothers Tim and Pat have resigned from the Steelers board of directors. The fifth Rooney brother is John.
First Published August 3, 2008 12:00 am