HOUSE RULES Bigger, Better Stadiums Are Driving the Future of the NFL

By Oehser, John | The Florida Times Union, November 26, 2000 | Go to article overview

HOUSE RULES Bigger, Better Stadiums Are Driving the Future of the NFL


Oehser, John, The Florida Times Union


Time grows short for Dan Rooney's place of memory.

A place he loves, a steel-and-cement structure stuffed with glory, history and tradition, soon will be no more. For that, he is wistful and thankful, too.

Rooney, owner of the Steelers, soon will watch a game in Three Rivers Stadium for the final time. That is the site of what he considers the greatest play in NFL history: 1972's Immaculate Reception. Four times in the 30 years the Steelers called the place home, they won the Super Bowl. After this season, it will be torn down, part of an overwhelming NFL-wide trend toward shiny, new revenue-producing -- and very expensive -- state-of-the-art stadiums.

Rooney is quick to say he's not sad, and the trend isn't evil, good or even easily definable. The trend, he said, is one of necessity; the demise of Three Rivers, a sign of the times in the era of free-spending and free agency.

"We needed this to stay competitive, not only with other teams, but in this market," Rooney said. "There's no avoiding it. The way it is now, you must have great facilities. We had tremendous memories here, so many great games. You need memories, but you also have to know when to move on."

Who needs memories? No one in the NFL, not when faced with a choice: Memory or fiscal survival. That, owners and general managers say, is the fundamental issue in the trend toward new stadiums. The late Pete Rozelle, NFL commissioner from 1960-1989, said stadium construction would be the league's most important issue in the 1990s and 2000s. Now, there is little dispute among owners that Rozelle was right, that the NFL is very much a stadium-driven league.

Even Jacksonville's Alltel Stadium, only six years old, isn't immune. Though not antiquated, the cost of the construction that made it the NFL's newest stadium in 1995 was $121 million. At the recent NFL owners meetings, just before the owners awarded Jacksonville the 2005 Super Bowl, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said he was seeking $40 and $50 million in as yet unspecified renovations.

"I used to go to league meetings and you'd never hear, 'stadium,' -- now, you hear it all the time," Packers president Bob Harlan said.

"Every NFL team has a place to play, but it's more than that," Vikings owner Red McCombs said. "It's about having a place to play that is competitive and allows you to be on a level playing field.

"It's really not an issue of whether one owner has 20 marbles and another guy has 10. It's an issue of, 'Do I have enough marbles to compete?' "

Stadiums are being built at a numbing rate. From 1976-1995, three stadiums were built for NFL teams -- the Metrodome in Minneapolis (1982), Joe Robbie in Miami (1987) and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta (1992). Since 1995, when Alltel Stadium was completed for the Jaguars' expansion season, eight stadiums have been built, nine more are scheduled for completion by 2003, and four more teams are pushing their communities for new stadiums.

The costs have escalated simultaneously. Alltel cost $121 million. The cost of the most recently completed stadium, Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, was $400 million.

How much has changed? How rapid is the growth? On the first day of next season, Alltel will turn six years old.

The AFC Central, the Jaguars' division, will have six stadiums. Alltel will be the oldest.

"Is it good or bad?" Giants owner Wellington Mara said, rhetorically. "I don't know if you can look at it that way. It is what it is."

WANTED: CASH ON HAND

Just how it is. A sign of the times. All may be true, but it didn't make life easier for Harlan the past year.

Wisconsin's Brown County approved $295 million in renovations to Lambeau Field in September, but only after Harlan spent a year educating voters on why renovations were necessary. The Packers have played in Lambeau since 1957, when it was built at a cost of $960,000, and won a Super Bowl in 1996.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

HOUSE RULES Bigger, Better Stadiums Are Driving the Future of the NFL
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.