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Old 04-23-2007, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

Steelers fear casino traffic on game days
Monday, April 23, 2007

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers want to see a more detailed study of the traffic impact of the proposed Majestic Star casino, particularly as it relates to game days and other big events on the North Shore.

Steelers President Art Rooney said today the study done by PITG Gaming LLC, the casino operator, did not analyze the impact the slots palace would have on game day traffic at Heinz Field or PNC Park. He viewed that as a serious flaw, given the difficulties the Steelers experience moving traffic during home games.

During a meeting with the Post-Gazette editorial board, Mr. Rooney said the Steelers would object to the approval of the casino master plan by the city planning commission until the issue had been addressed. The planning commission is scheduled to vote on the master plan May 1.

"There's a whole different picture on the North Shore that needs to be looked at," he said.

Mr. Rooney also said there's a need to analyze the impact the casino will have on the regional highway system, including ramps and bridges leading to the West End and the North Shore. He said the Majestic Star study was more localized and did not look at the interstate system.

"We are prepared to go and object to an approval [by the planning commission] at this point," he said. "We don't think it should be approved without a much more thorough study of the traffic and, obviously, an analysis of what it's going to take to fix the problem."

He estimated that it could cost "tens of millions of dollars" to make the improvements necessary to mitigate the impact. The Steelers also believe there's a need to form a working group similar to one convened before Heinz Field and PNC Park opened to address traffic issues. Handling that through the 39-member gaming implementation task force formed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato could be unwieldly, he said, although he added it is conceivable that a subcommittee could address such issues.

Mr. Rooney said the Steelers are willing to work with businessman Don Barden, who heads PITG Gaming, to resolve traffic-related issues. The team has hired its own consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to assist on traffic-related issues.

While the mix of traffic "might be a workable situation" when Steeler games start at 1 p.m. Sunday, Mr. Rooney said that is becoming less common. The Steelers will play five night home games this year, two during the preseason and three during the regular season. He said he was also concerned about the impact on Saturday Pitt games.

PITG Gaming spokesman Bob Oltmanns said the casino's traffic study did take into account the impact on the regional highway system, including the West End Bridge. He wasn't sure whether it analyzed game day traffic. However, he pointed out that Mr. Barden has committed to making about $10 million in improvements to intersections and roads near the casino.

He added he didn't hear anything from Mr. Rooney's remarks "that already hasn't been discussed in great detail before the gaming control board. We have acknowledged the need for some highway and roadway improvements that Mr. Barden has since day one been willing to pay for at no cost to taxpayers," he said.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07113/780313-100.stm
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

The Steelers have their shorts in a bunch because they wanted the land surrounding Heinz and PNC Park to be developed as they saw fit.

After nothing happened for 5 years someone has stepped up and proposed how the land should be used. The Steelers missed their lengthy chance to be players in Northside development but have lost that chance and need to deal with it.

Given the hours I would spend in gridlocked parking lots after games at TRS, the Steelers purported concerns about traffic congestion are laughable. They play in a taxpayer funded facility and will need to grin and bear it as others control how the slots palace (casinos involve a lot more glitz and gambling) next to that facility operates.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

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The Steelers have their shorts in a bunch because they wanted the land surrounding Heinz and PNC Park to be developed as they saw fit.

After nothing happened for 5 years someone has stepped up and proposed how the land should be used. The Steelers missed their lengthy chance to be players in Northside development but have lost that chance and need to deal with it.

Given the hours I would spend in gridlocked parking lots after games at TRS, the Steelers purported concerns about traffic congestion are laughable. They play in a taxpayer funded facility and will need to grin and bear it as others control how the slots palace (casinos involve a lot more glitz and gambling) next to that facility operates.



Exactly Atlanta Dan. They want to develope between Heinz and PNC soo bad. There will be nowhere to park down there to go to any of these places! I laughed my butt off at this story!
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

Who can blame them. this also effects the science center to.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

I see where the Steelers are coming from.Lots other than the Heinz Field/PNC Park parking lots cannot deny someone from parking there for things other than the games.The casino will bring people from Pennsylvania,Ohio,and West Virginia.They won't be coming for the Steelers or Pirates and will be taking up spots that the Steelers need for attendance.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

Roethlisberger, the Steelers don't care about them lots either. They plan on developing those lots themselves in the future.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

IMO, the Steelers have no ground to stand on when it comes to this situation. That land has been sitting vacant for a long time and the Steelers never took advantage of it. Intead they were building around the Heinz/PNC area while taking away much needed parking spots.

Plus, who are the Steelers? I love them, but who are they to say what can and cannot be built on property that they do not own? While I do not agree with building a casino in that area (congestion will be crazy), the Steelers blew their chance.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

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Who can blame them. this also effects the science center to.
They said the Science Center is closed on game days and thats one of the suggestions Rooney is proposing to the casino owners.

What I don't get is why the Rooneys think everyone will be leaving the casino and the Steeler game at the same time. I'm sure there will be very little traffic leaving the casino the same time the game is over.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

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They said the Science Center is closed on game days and thats one of the suggestions Rooney is proposing to the casino owners.

What I don't get is why the Rooneys think everyone will be leaving the casino and the Steeler game at the same time. I'm sure there will be very little traffic leaving the casino the same time the game is over.

LOL! If I was the Casino owner, I tell Rooney to you know....off! And laugh in his face.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers fear casino traffic on game days

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LOL! If I was the Casino owner, I tell Rooney to you know....off! And laugh in his face.
yup...i'd tell dan to pay me what my average profit is for a day , and i'll close.
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