Is Steelers new stadium name a conflict of interest with a part owner?
The Steelers Do Not Own the Stadium
The Steelers do not technically own the stadium it’s owned by the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The government entity operates the stadium along with PNC Park, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and PPG Arena, amongst others. Although in the Stadiums construction, the Steelers put up $76.5 million to help finance the project, with the rest coming from public funds.
Considering government agencies, in theory, are supposed to shy away from conflicts of interest, should they step in and ask the Steelers to void the deal with Acrisure? If for any other reason because the bidding process might not have been fair? Perhaps, but we all know they won’t. The Steelers say no one else opted to make a bid, or there were no other credible offers. Maybe but it’s hard to fathom Giant Eagle, Alcoa, Dicks, or some other local corporation wouldn’t have made an offer.
Assuming someone else did make an offer, we could assume it was much lower than $10 million a year, which leads to a serious question. Tull would have been privy to other bid amounts as a part owner. So is it hard to imagine Tull making a phone call in which he tells Acrisure to up their bid, so it exceeded any other offer? If asked, he would likely deny it. Still, it makes one wonder if he hampered the process even in a small way.