Judge to rule next week on Heinz Field seats issue

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge says he’ll rule sometime next week on whether the Pittsburgh Steelers or the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority must pay to add 3,000 seats to the team’s 11-year-old stadium, Heinz Field.

The Steelers argue in a lawsuit that the new seats qualify as a “capital improvement” under language of the team’s lease. If true, the authority must pay two-thirds of the $30 million cost. But authority officials say the new seats qualify only as a “modification” of the stadium which, under the language of the lease, would mean the Steelers pay the entire bill.

Allegheny County Judge Joseph James — who has season tickets for the Steelers — heard those arguments Thursday and says he’ll rule on the issue within a week.

The stadium has about 65,000 seats, making it 25th in NFL seating capacity.

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