Steelers owner not wild about all his prime time appearances

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Most people want all the prime time games they can get. But the Steelers wouldn’t mind having fewer, according to owner Art Rooney II.

The Steelers are scheduled to make the maximum number of appearances a team can have (five, not counting potential flex-scheduling games), and Rooney said that becomes a burden on parts of his fan base.

“The thing that concerns me about our attendance is more related to our schedule — I would rather not have as many night games,” Rooney told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Last year we had three home night games almost in a row. I just don’t think our fans want to do that anymore.”

Since the debut of Monday Night Football in 1970, only the Cowboys (157) have made more prime time appearances than the Steelers (139).

But their home attendance has dropped the last two years (from 64,731 in 2015 to 64,313 in 2016 and 62,471 last year) and that’s a cause for concern. They still have a sellout streak that goes back to 1972, as well as a waiting list for tickets. But the complaints echo trends cited by other teams throughout the league about getting people in the building, so you can charge them for beer and parking.

Rooney also mentioned that 18 percent of the team’s season ticket base lives outside of Pennsylvania, making travel an issue for night games.

“It’s definitely a Catch-22,” Rooney said. “Obviously we want to be in prime time, we want to be the kind of team they put in prime time. I just think it’s a question of them spreading them out, which this year is a little better from that standpoint. When you have those sort of bunched at the end of the season when it gets cold, I think that can be a problem.”

It might be a first-world problem, since there are certainly owners who would happily take some of those games off his hands (even if the networks involve might not share the enthusiasm).

34 responses to “Steelers owner not wild about all his prime time appearances

  1. So, he’d rather own a perennial 4- or 5-win team that’s never on primetime at all? Whatever.

  2. Is this an instance of an owner valuing the bottom line over everything else? The Steelers’ record in night games is really good. This gives the impression that revenue is more important than winning.

  3. As long as the games are played as scheduled it is not that big a problem. When they are flexed to different times it can mess up peoples plans. P.S. I can’t wait to see them play in Vegas!

  4. Night games are a burden for many season ticket holders. We’ll at least the ones that need to get up on the morning and go to work the next day. Still I doubt that any Pitt season ticket holder that can’t make the night games will have much of an issue getting rid of his or her tickets.

  5. “They still have a sellout streak that goes back to 1972”

    Pittsburgh… they’ve got local economy issues and a small, but steady exodus of people living there, but PRETENDING to sellout since 1972 isn’t fooling anyone anymore.

  6. So, he’d rather own a perennial 4- or 5-win team that’s never on primetime at all? Whatever.

    It’s obvious you know little about the Steelers, the fan base, and the city it self. It’s a working class town that has people loyal to the team but hold their responsibilities to their job as very important. The traffic after a game at night is bad leaving a fan to get very little sleep before starting their work week……now do you get it?

  7. so you can charge them for beer and parking

    Yeah, I bet they love that. The cost for parking and a beer sometimes costs more than the ticket. What a ripoff.

  8. 18% of your fan base lives outside of PA? Where, 10 miles west in Ohio? 99% of the Jets’ fan base lives outside of Jersey and maybe 75% of the Giants’ fan base, the same.

    The Jets fan base is Long Island and try getting from THAT parking lot to East Rutherford. It’s faster to drive from Cleveland to Pittsburgh than from E.R. to Suffolk County.

    I think the Cowboys have a way higher than 18% fan base that live outside of Texas.

    I love when wealthy people complain about Mo Money.

  9. Found something else to cry about…….for a team that is a “marquee” team of the NFL they are pretty petty….. from the players, to the coaches, all the way up to the owner. If they didn’t get so many prime time games they would be crying they don’t get the respect…….

    Never hear about the other marquee teams cry about this, Cowboys, Patriots, Packers or Philly

  10. “Last year we had three home night games almost in a row. I just don’t think our fans want to do that anymore.”

    ——————–

    “Last year we had three home night games almost in a row. I just don’t think that’s good for my wallet.” Fixed.

  11. bassplucker says:
    August 1, 2018 at 11:37 am
    So, he’d rather own a perennial 4- or 5-win team that’s never on primetime at all? Whatever.

    27 11 Rate This

    Or Knowing that the entire NFL is really one entity that shares revenues, maybe knows that’s getting other teams on prime time that will increase merchandise purchases for said team is just good business for all in the NFL.

  12. I miss when they had good “Game of the Week” type games at 1:00.

    Now you have to hope the NFL scheduled a good Sunday night game, a good Sunday afternoon game, and THEN hope that two teams with good records play at 1:00 (otherwise, it would be flexed). You might get that ONCE in like Week 14.

    When is the next 1:00 Giants-Cowboys Game (last year doesn’t count. Was scheduled for later).

  13. Oh, and I’m from Pittsburgh, although raised in NY. 20 to 30 minutes is what they’re used to driving to work. At least that’s what my parents told me. I can’t imagine being that lucky.

    You all have no clue what real traffic is. Try getting up at 0300 to be at work at 0730.

  14. Since the debut of Monday Night Football in 1970, only the Cowboys (157) have made more prime time appearances than the Steelers (139).
    ====================================================

    America’s Team who stands for the flag.

  15. It’s obvious you know little about the Steelers, the fan base, and the city it self. It’s a working class town that has people loyal to the team but hold their responsibilities to their job as very important. The traffic after a game at night is bad leaving a fan to get very little sleep before starting their work week……now do you get it?
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    How is that different from any other town? I would assume most people that are loyal to their teams also have job commitments that they take very seriously. And traffic is horrible in/around every stadium I have ever been to. Pitt does not hold the exclusive rights to hard-working people that struggle to deal with night time games.

  16. He’s right. On top of everything else that’s been going on that has me watching less football, a night game on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday is a guarantee that I won’t watch the whole thing. I’m not staying up til midnight for the West Coast when the alarm goes off for work at 5am.

    The “real” fans can’t afford to go to the games. So the corporate crowd either blows off an 8 or 830 start or buzzes out early.

  17. When I had LSU season tickets in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, I hated it when they changed a night game to a day game.

  18. The rest of the country is tired of the stillers being on prime-time – especially home games with the most obnoxious fans and their silly towels

  19. If it were up to the NFL profit-machine, they would have the premier franchise Steelers play 4 games a weekend, all televised.

  20. Simple…tell all your bandwagon fans to root for their home team…then you won’t have to worry about prime time games to appease the bandwagoners…

  21. Well… the Jaguars surprised a lot of people last year and only got 1 (2 if you count Thurs night, but does anyone?)
    Fans without tickets and out of market love prime time games.

  22. The owners are the ones who want the Thursday night games, not the players or fans who hate the poor quality of those games. Getting rid of them would immediately remove 1 night game for every team.

    The owners also want the revenue from Sunday and Monday night games. If you want the cash you have to play the additional time slots.

  23. I can see his point: most teams want the PT exposure. Steelers are among a handful of teams that has a strong U.S, and international, base. They don’t need to find new fans. I personally like the PT gms since my kids are sleeping, the lawn has already been cut, and I am looking to cut limes for my beer!

  24. This just in: fans (of ALL NFL teams) that have first-shift jobs hate NFL night games. This is not a Steelers-specific issue.

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