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Art Rooney II: Let’s have a Super Bowl

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — One down side to being on the other side of the planet and lacking reliable phone service is that you can miss a call or two or 10.

Just before leaving, I wrote a Feb. 2 column challenging the Steelers and the Rooney family in particular to step up and bid for a Super Bowl, now that we’ve seen it work in New Jersey. It’s the second such piece I’ve written in the past couple years.

Art Rooney II, the Steelers’ chairman, tried to reach me as I was traveling and couldn’t, so he put his thoughts into this email. Out of respect to him and because I’ve already said my piece, the final word is his.

What follows is Rooney’s full email:

I think it would be a tremendous opportunity for the entire Pittsburgh region to bid for a Super Bowl at some point in the future. We already have many of the assets in place to host a Super Bowl in our area. For instance, the Convention Center is an outstanding venue and a necessity to host this type of event. Other facilities in the city such as Stage AE, Consol Energy Center, Market Square and many of the theaters in the Cultural District would be tremendous to host different parties and events throughout a Super Bowl week.

Heinz Field is a great football stadium, but it will need to be expanded and brought up to the first-class standards at the time of making a bid.

We are going to explore with the various community leaders, both in the public and private sectors, in the region to gauge if there is an appetite for putting together the commitment of time and resources that would be required to submit a bid that would be competitive with other cities.

Indianapolis, as a community, has done a great job organizing and planning to have the resources and assets to be able to successfully host major events, including the Super Bowl. The model Indianapolis has in place would be a perfect model for Pittsburgh leaders to study in advance of potentially bidding for a future Super Bowl.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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