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Report: Thomas Tull eyes increased ownership stake in Pittsburgh Steelers

US billionaire in talks to acquire further stake in NFL franchise from Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

1 September 2023 Ed Dixon

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  • Tull became part-owner in 2009
  • Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment needs to offload Steelers stake after acquiring Washinton Commanders

US billionaire Thomas Tull wants to increase his minority stake in the National Football League’s (NFL) Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Bloomberg.

Tull, the founder of investment holding company Tulco, is reportedly vying against rival bidders and plans to acquire a small stake in the franchise from Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

Harris and Blitzer bought a stake of less than five per cent in the Steelers in 2020 but the pair are now exploring a sale after a group led by Harris secured a takeover of the Washington Commanders for a record US$6.05 billion in July. NFL rules state that a majority owner cannot hold an interest in another of the league’s franchises.

Tull, who is a longtime Steelers fan and first took a stake in the team back in 2009, is the former chairman and chief executive of Legendary Entertainment, which was acquired by China’s Wanda Group for US$3.5 billion in 2016. The 53-year-old has an estimated net worth of US$2.7 billion, according to Forbes.

The Steelers are majority-owned by the Rooney family, who have controlled the organisation since its founding.

It has not been reported how much Tull would have to pay for an extra chunk of the Steelers. The franchise was valued at US$4.63 billion, up 16 per cent year-over-year, in Forbes’ latest ranking, putting it 18th out of the NFL’s 32 teams. Forbes also pegged the Steelers’ annual revenue at US$548 million and operating income at US$96 million.

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