Saturday, January 12, 2008

A New Player on the North Shore?

According to a report from KDKA the Steelers have entered into a partnership with AEG Worldwide "to build another type of venue described as a theater-nightclub to bring top flight music acts to the North Shore."

According to the report the venue will be designed by the architects at HOK, the same folks who designed both PNC Park and Heinz Field (I suppose the dearly departed Hi-Tops, and some businesses that are still open might become victims of Eminent Domain?).

But what caught our eye was the partnership with AEG, whose principle owner is Philip Anschutz. Among other things, Mr. Anschutz owns the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, the Home Depot Center (Carson, California) the Los Angeles Galaxy (David Beckham's home in the MLS) who play at the Home Depot Center, the Anaheim (CA) Convention Center, the Hartford Civic Center, and the recently christened O2 Arena in London.

He also owns hockey teams in Europe, and according to the AEG website "[e]vents such as the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race, the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the East West Bank Classic WTA tennis tournament as well as an ongoing schedule of soccer exhibitions in the United States featuring the most popular international teams are part of the portfolio of AEG Sports."

That Mr. Anschutz is a sportsman (and one of the world's richest people) is undeniable (his amazingly low-profile, reclusive style makes the Rooney family look flamboyant), and one wonders if this partnership with one of the NFL's founding families isn't an attempt to create connections that will provide an entree into one of the world's biggest games, and most exclusive clubs.

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