Pittsburgh Steelers rumors about a home game in Mexico City aren’t making fans happy. These Steelers rumors come directly from team owner, Art Rooney, who spoke about volunteering for the possibility. A report from NBC Sports quoted what Rooney had to say, which would mean that fans in the Pittsburgh area would get to see one fewer home game played at Heinz Field in the near future.
“There will be a game in Mexico for the next three years, so like I said, we’ve kind of raised our hand for that one, and hopefully we’ll get selected one of these years. We only have a handful of teams that don’t mind giving up a home game, and they are the ones kind of in the mix. That is definitely a challenge. It is a challenge for us. We would like to play in some of these games, but we are not anxious to give up a home game. Maybe some year, we may have to do it once.”
These Pittsburgh Steelers rumors have not gone over well with fans on social media. In fact, it is a rare occurrence to see any Steelers fans making a positive comment about what Art Rooney has stated. A report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review states that the Steelers have played preseason games in Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Japan, and Spain in the past. The Steelers have also played a regular-season game in England, but that was considered a road game for the team.
The franchise has sold out every game since 1972 and had even added more seats to try to accommodate the ticket demand. So why would the Pittsburgh Steelers agree to sacrifice a home game in order to play down in Mexico City? The potential is there that this could become a way to increase the regular season schedule for NFL teams. There have already been NFL rumors about shortening the preseason and adding one or two regular season games. Having teams scheduled outside of the country for a 17th game could alleviate having to sacrifice a home game.
During the 2013 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to London to play the Minnesota Vikings. It was considered a home game for the Vikings and was played at Wembley Stadium. There were 83,518 fans in attendance as the Vikings defeated the Steelers 34-27. A lot came of the game, as the NFL organized tailgate parties and began the festivities six hours before kickoff. Fans in attendance got to see Adrian Peterson go up against the Steelers defense and many celebrities were in the stadium.
These Pittsburgh Steelers rumors don’t have a date attached to them, as Art Rooney wasn’t very specific for when he volunteered to take his team down to Mexico City. The massive stadium in the center of Mexico City (Estadio Azteca) can seat 98,500 fans, so it could sell more tickets than Heinz Field. After the last seating upgrade, the Steelers sell approximately 68,050 seats per home game. The team could certainly gain back lost revenues if the teams gets a portion of ticket sales in Mexico, but it would take away some of the advantage to playing in Pittsburgh.
The team has a lot of time to iron out the details and figure out a way to save face with the 65,000-plus fans that buy tickets to every home game in Pittsburgh. It is the season ticket holders that will have to be compensated in some fashion, which would be made a lot easier if the NFL truly plans on extending the regular season to a 17th or 18th game. These Pittsburgh Steelers rumors should also be a hint to fans of other teams that a request for their team to play in Mexico City may also be coming.
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