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In Court, Steelers Argue for Public Money to Help Pay for Heinz Field Expansion

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
In court, Steelers argue for public money to help pay for Heinz Field expansion
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette June 13, 2013 1:52 pm
The Steelers urged an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge today to rule in their favor in a dispute with local officials over who will pay for a proposed 3,000-seat expansion at Heinz Field.
In a request for a partial summary judgment, an attorney for the Steelers, Arthur H. Stroyd Jr., told Judge Joseph James a clause in the team's lease at Heinz Field requires the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority to cover two-thirds of the cost for a "designated expansion" of no more than 10,000 seats at the North Shore stadium.
He argued that such an expansion automatically is deemed a capital improvement under the lease. The SEA has argued that it is not obligated to fund the expansion unless the Steelers first show that it meets the criteria for a capital improvement, mainly that the addition or modification has been installed in at least half of all NFL stadiums with at least 25 percent of the cost covered by federal, state or local governments.
Walter DeForest, the SEA's attorney, argued that the language cited by the Steelers does not mean it does not have to meet the criteria for a capital improvement. It simply limits any expansion to no more than 10,000 seats, he said.
"It does not say what Mr. Stroyd implies," he said.
Mr. Stroyd, on the other hand, argued that the SEA is resisting its obligations under the lease because it does not have enough money to fund its share.
Judge James said afterwards that he would rule on the request for partial summary judgment within a week.
The Steelers sued after a deal to fund the proposed expansion fell apart. The team had hoped to have the 3,000 seats available for the 2013 season but has since postponed that indefinitely.
Mark Belko: [email protected] or 412-263-1262.
First Published June 13, 2013 1:52 pm
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Should the taxpayers pay for seats to make more money for the Steelers owners? :stirthepot:

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