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Billionaire reportedly involved in battle for Pittsburgh Steelers ownership stake

The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise has been in the Rooney family since 1933. While Art Rooney II remains in charge of the family’s storied NFL team, there is reportedly a brewing battle for a larger ownership stake in the franchise.

Pittsburgh was granted an expansion NFL team in May 1993, with the club originally owned by Art Rooney and the Pittsburgh Professional Football Club. Following Art’s death in 1988, his son Art Rooney II took over control of the club as team owner.

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However, Pittsburgh does have several minority partners involved with the club. Most notably, new Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris and his business partner David Blitzer own a small stake in the Steelers. Under NFL rules, they are now required to sell that share just as Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper did in 2019.

According to Bloomberg, billionaire Thomas Tull is reportedly in talks to purchase the stake owned by Harros and Blitzer. However, there are reportedly other parties involved that could create a bidding war.

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Harris and Blitzer’s stake is estimated at less than 5 percent of Steelers’ ownership. While it’s a relatively small share compared to what the Rooney family has and means there’s no true decision-making process, it will cost a fortune and adding the additional stake could have significant financial ramifications.

While the Steelers’ franchise value is estimated at $4.63 billion, the Denver Broncos sold for $4.65 billion in 2022 and Harris’ group just bought the Commanders for a record-setting price of $6 billion. Harris and Blitzer could reasonably estimate the Steelers’ value in excess of $5 billion, meaning even buying less than 5 percent of the team will cost upwards of $200 million.

Tull, age 53, has an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion and is a huge sports fan. With NFL revenue expected to keep climbing in the next decade-plus, buying a larger stake in the Steelers could pay off in a few years.