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Steel City hosting a Super Bowl? Art Rooney II sees potential

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Last year's Super Bowl in the shiny new Metlife Stadium may have opened the door for other "cold weather cities" to host the big game, and Art Rooney II thinks Pittsburgh is up to the task.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers owner Art Rooney II has big plans for the city of Pittsburgh; hosting the Super Bowl.

"Well, I think my attitude toward it is why not? I think that we have some work to do, but I would say that I wouldn't want us to say we can't do that. I think our city, with a few more amenities in place - like a couple more hotels probably and we'd have to find a second practice facility for the second team - things like that. But, really, I don't think that we're far away from it at all. I just think it would be a great thing for the city and something that we should strive for," Rooney said, according to Barbara Boylan of CBS Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has recently played host to several large-scale sporting events, concerts and other events, including the MLB All-Star game in 2006, the NHL Winter Classic in 2011, a soccer match between A.C. Milan and Manchester City and several enormous concerts each summer, including Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift.  Swift will return to Heinz Field this summer for a sold-out show, while One Direction, a popular boy band, has also already nearly sold out their show this summer.  Pittsburgh has also played host to the G-20 Summit in 2009 and the Pittsburgh Marathon has been a wildly popular event since Dick's Sporting Good's became the sponsor in 2009.

Rooney acknowledges hurdles exist, chiefly among them the infrastructure of the city may have trouble supporting the additional hundreds of thousands of visitors for the fortnight of football coverage.  He does, however, suggest the city host other events in the short term to help boost Pittsburgh's stock as a legitimate host of the event.

Heinz Field itself possesses several issues as it's an open-stadium in a cold-weather city.  MetLife Stadium, the host of XLVII in 2014 is located near New York City, accommodates 83,000 fans and opened in 2010, the year in which it was awarded the Super Bowl.  Heinz Field's capacity reaches only 66,000 (although plans for additional seating are being discussed), is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh and opened in 2001.  Other than that Super Bowls are traditionally played in either warmer climates or domed stadiums.

Rooney acknowledges a cold weather city regularly hosting the Super Bowl is a far-fetched suggestion, but posits if cold weather teams are considered as hosts on a semi-regular basis moving forward, then the city of Pittsburgh is capable of hosting the event.