NFL Owners Could Put up a Steel Curtain to Hedge Fund

New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Mention the Pittsburgh Steelers and there are certain things that may come to mind.  Five Superbowl rings, their dominance in the 70’s, or maybe even greats like Lynn Swan and Terry Bradshaw.  But what always comes to mind is the affiliation with the perhaps the most famous owners in the history of the NFL, the Rooney’s.  That is why the possibility of having a hedge fund purchase the team has sent some people in a fit of fury.

Stanley Druckenmiller of Duquense Capital Management has put in a bid for the beloved Steelers, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 

“There isn’t one person in the league who wants this to happen,” said John Mara, Co-Owner and CEO of the New Giants said to the Tribune.  “Everyone wants it to work out. Dan Rooney is the most respected owner in the league.”

Dan and his four brothers own a combined 80% share in the team.  McGinley relations owns the remaining 20%.  In order for the franchise to be sold, 24 owners out of the 32 teams in the league must agree to the deal. 

Not an easy task for Druckenmiller, considering most NFL coaches know and respect the deep-seated tradition that the Steelers pride themselves on.  Since he is adamant on obtaining a controlling stake in the team, Rooney may have to come up with a substantial amount of cash to boost his own stake and force Druckenmiller to walk away.

A restructuring of the ownership was the original idea.  Sons Tim, Pat and John are avid in the gambling scene, owning racetracks and casinos in New York, Florida and Maryland that rake in millions a year.  This is in direct violation of NFL rules, hence the need for the restructuring.  However, since the five brothers each own about a $150 million share in the team, Dan would have to come up with over $600 million to buy out his kin.  With that price tag being out of his budget, the Rooney’s approached Druckenmiller, a die-hard Steelers fan with plenty of cash to spare.   The Rooney’s may have underestimated the intentions, however, of the brilliant market analyst who tailgates every Sunday outside of Heinz Field in a Troy Polamalu jersey.

“A new owner would need to show a strong case for us to vote against Dan Rooney,” said Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy, who sits with Rooney at every NFL owners meetings. 

Druckenmiller rocketed to stardom when he teamed up with George Soros to make that infamous bet against the British Pound that made the two billionaires overnight. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, founded in 1933. 

Julie Scuderi
Senior Editor for HedgeCo.Net

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