Art Rooney II on possibility of neutral site championship games: I hate the idea

NFL: NOV 20 Bengals at Steelers
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The league may want neutral site championship games, but that doesn’t mean the owners do. The idea will need the approval of 24 owners to become a reality, and that might be a hard sell for teams with weather and/or fan noise that give them a home-field advantage.

Steelers president Art Rooney II strongly opposes the idea.

I hate the idea,” Rooney said Thursday, via audio from 93.7 The Fan. “I don’t like that at all. My sense is that if you put that up for a vote it wouldn’t pass today, but who knows.”

Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt pushed the idea for a long time, but ownership never went for it.

However, neutral site championship games in the future gained some traction after Bills and Chiefs fans bought 50,000 tickets in 24 hours for a potential AFC Championship Game in Atlanta. It didn’t happen, of course, after the Bengals beat the Bills in the divisional round.

But as PFT has reported the NFL envies the atmosphere of major college bowl games as well as the increased revenue stream that would come with having cities bid on the right to host the conference championship games and sponsorship of the games.

The question remains: Even if neutral site championship games means increased revenue for them, will 24 owners ever agree to it?

23 responses to “Art Rooney II on possibility of neutral site championship games: I hate the idea

  1. Good for Rooney.
    More owners should be open about this since they’re going to be losing out on holding these games too.

  2. Having been at Six AFC Championship games In Pittsburgh, hate the idea as well. The fans, especially the season ticket holders, got to go on the entire season journey as with the team as well. Not only are these games the most electric, loud and passionate events one can attend, it should Be a reward for those who show up every home game also. So few get lucky to get Superbowl tickets. We know, only 2 times out of 8 after having tickets over 55 years did we get tix via the lottery. So that really Was our superbowl in many aspects. Not All traditions need to be scrapped for the $$$

  3. So a season ticket holder will spend his hard earned money supporting his team , paying to park, buying food and beverages, buying novelties, and when the biggest games of the year that matter you take them away and send them to another city. Makes alot of sense NFL. Corporate America at its finest. Only the rich. If this happens, count me out. I’ll watch my grass grow instead

  4. Why isn’t the NFL sensitive to the fact that US families are barely surviving in this record-level inflation period? Sure, the NFL gets the TV revenue but the stadium experience is THE most important factor in keeping fans engaged. If fans become apathetic, the NFL will decline rapidly. Like Margaret Thatcher famously said “at some point, you run out of other peoples money”.

  5. As usual the fans are the last to be thought about ! They are talking about cities creating a bidding war to have the game , soon enough the telecast will be beamed in from London .

  6. Not 50000 fans bought tickets to the possible neutral site game, but scalpers and bots for resale sites.
    NFL games are a hot ticket and have a resale value of at least three times the face value. There are people who make a living with resale tickets, so nobody should look at the 50000 tickets that were sold for that game as an indicator for great interest. There is of course great interest in these games, but there is also great interest in Conference Championship games if they are played at home sites.

  7. Other owners probably bummed at Rooney for speaking his mind and will find a not-so-subtle way to punish him publicly.

  8. I’m sure that Roger is thinking that he’s going to be around a little longer than Art Rooney. So he’ll just wait it out and Roger can do whatever he wants.

  9. If the NFL envies the “college atmosphere” than perhaps it should get a clue to the fact that a college game is MUCH CHEAPER to attend

  10. 50,000 Tickets sold does not mean that the Bills and Chiefs fans bought them. Did they all tell someone that they were Chief and Bills fans? I am sure some were but there is no evidence of who bought these tickets.

  11. Jerry Jones likes the idea. That’s the only chance he has to host a conference championship game.

  12. If they want to use a neutral site, then it cannot be an existing NFL Stadium. Use a former Super Bowl stadium like the Rosebowl for one of the Championship and use Birmingham Stadium for another one. That way no conference has a Stadium advantage.

  13. This is the worst idea since MLB started putting a free runner on 2nd base for extra inning games.

  14. These neutral site games are for the rich & for the people lucky enough to actually live near the site. NFL always searching for some radical idea to make more money. Someday…maybe ..the popularity of the NFL is going to slide precipitously when people get sick of their greed.

  15. The bad ideas just keep a’comin’.

    A third wild card team each conference, with two more wild card weekend games? (With elimination of the No. 2 seed bye.) That’s watered-down the first round. Boring overkill.

    And the 17-game regular season, it’s too many games. Guess we’ll have Super Bowls in mid-February here on out.

    Not to mention all the overseas games. They plan down the road for every team play a game overseas every year.

    I know I can’t get my father’s NFL back, but I’d settle for my older brother’s.

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