If the Pittsburgh Steelers are sold, someone will have to pay for the $281 million in taxpayer money used to build Heinz Field, Allegheny County’s controller told the owners in a letter today. He said even engaging in sales talk may violate the 2000 lease, and demanded the team remain in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
The controller’s argument is that since “generous lease provisions” have increased the franchise’s value, the county should get a cut of any sale. But one team shareholder said he doubted the contract could force such a public reimbursement. But the controller needn’t worry about a move, he noted, because the lease will keep the team at Heinz until 2029.