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Billionaire Steelers Co-Owner Seeks To Increase Stake In Team

  • Thomas Tull among those vying for team equity to be sold by Josh Harris, David Blitzer
  • Steelers remain among the NFL's most popular teams
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The sale of the Washington Commanders to Josh Harris’ group has sparked a new battle for a minority stake of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Harris and longtime sports investment partner David Blitzer must sell their equity in the Steelers — estimated at less than 5% of the team — per NFL rules, which dictate that a majority team owner cannot hold interest in another franchise. 

Billionaire Thomas Tull — film producer and Steelers co-owner since 2009 — is reportedly in talks to acquire the equity from Harris and Blitzer, increasing his existing stake in the team led by Art Rooney II.

But others also want the equity, and the Steelers have 18 members in the ownership group beyond Rooney and Tull, including Pro Football Hall of Famer and Steelers legend John Stallworth. Staying within the team’s existing ownership group for this transaction would be the simplest path, as those investors have already been vetted by the NFL.

Harris, who has long been aware of the ownership requirements, began efforts to divest the Steelers equity even before the Commanders acquisition was completed.

A six-time Super Bowl champion and one of the NFL’s most popular teams, the Steelers are worth an estimated $4.63 billion, 18th-highest in the NFL. A 5% stake would then be worth about $232 million. Harris and Blitzer acquired their Steelers equity in 2020, investing a reported $140 million. 

Harris and Blitzer would subsequently be in line to turn a solid profit on their three-plus years of Steelers ownership — no surprise given the NFL’s continued revenue growth and franchise value escalation. 

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