Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II is vehemently against neutral site conference championship games.
Do not expect for Art Rooney II to vote in favor of neutral site conference championship games any time soon.
The Pittsburgh Steelers president spoke with 93.7 The Fan on Thursday. While he did touch on several Steelers centric topics, his disgust for the idea of neutral site championship games could not have been more obvious. Pittsburgh is one of a handful of NFL franchises that will never, ever get to host a Super Bowl in their city, so why on earth would they give up the AFC Championship?
Here is what Rooney said on the title bout matter while appearing on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday.
"“No, I hate the idea,” said Rooney. “So, I wouldn’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?”"
While you can understand why the NFL would want to consider this drastic postseason measure, good luck trying to convince owners of northern, outdoor franchises like the Steelers to put pen to paper of this proposal.
Art Rooney II expresses displeasure in the idea of neutral site championships
Even if you want to remove the Green Bay Packers from the equation because they are a publicly owned enterprise, you can easily rattle of a dozen teams or so who would echo Rooney’s sentiment. For starters, the entire AFC North division, the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs and probably all but the Miami Dolphins out of the AFC East. So that is nine AFC teams right there!
While franchises that play in domes or mild climates may be in favor of this proposal, the northern, outdoor teams will never buy it. Yes, you can have championship games played in northern cities like Detroit, Indianapolis and Minneapolis, but do you see the Super Bowl ever going to Charlotte or back to Jacksonville any time soon? The crucial number of 24 votes in favor will be not coming.
Look. Roger Goodell works for the owners. His primary job is to create more revenue for his bosses. He is exceptionally good at this. In theory, holding a neutral site championship game like the one that would have happened between the Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills in Atlanta would create an event akin to a bowl game. However, neutral site games can often feel incredibly stale.
The NFL may want to manufacture the vibes of a college conference championship game, a Red River or a Cocktail Party, but it is more likely to feel incredibly cooperate like a Super Bowl, as opposed to being chock full of excitement like an SEC football game. Would the owners make more money going with neutral site championships? Yes, but their overall product might suffer.
Small market teams may like the money, but not hosting a conference championship would stink.