Steelers Request Entertainment Subsidy

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who are planning to build a $12 million entertainment complex near Heinz Field, are seeking a $4 million public subsidy.

Developer Continental Real Estate Cos. is also seeking the subsidy. The company’s chairman, Frank Kass, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the subsidy would replace a state grant the Steelers received four years ago to build a 5,600-seat amphitheatre on the same spot. When the shed project fell through, the Steelers passed on the grant, which went toward building a parking garage near the Heinz Field stadium.

“When the [amphitheatre] project was conceptualized, it was conceptualized with a subsidy,” Kass told the paper. “Nothing has changed.”

Without a subsidy, the Steelers and Continental wouldn’t be able to spend more than $8 million on the project, he told the Post-Gazette.

City Councilman William Peduto was cool to the request. The Stadium Authority board members recently voted to give the Steelers the complex land for $1.37 million, and Peduto called it a “sweetheart deal.” He added that the taxpayers already paid much of the Heinz Field project, as well as baseball’s PNC Park.

Kass told the paper the development, which would include offices, condominiums and restaurants, would be valued at $150 million with the taxpayers paying only $4 million.