We have just confirmed with our source, UPMC is in talks to buy the Steelers football franchise from the Rooney Family.
While this may seem like a surprising move, it reflects the changing nature of the City of Pittsburgh. The Steelers franchise was established in 1933, when Pittsburgh was a steel manufacturing hub. The city has transformed, and weathered the decline of industry with a new focus on “meds & eds.”
It makes sense that UPMC would want to acquire the team. Not only does it provide an expanded platform to market the UPMC health plan, it also positions UPMC to be a world leader in studying CTE and traumatic brain injury on the field.
One of the first changes fans will see at Heinz Field this fall is a UPMC urgent care clinic and medical research lab that will study both players and fans. There is no better place to study the effects of stress on the heart than studying the fans during a fourth and goal, with the clock winding down. You will be able to order your Primanti brothers sandwich and schedule your triple bypass during half-time.
Another interesting idea that is apparently being tossed around (pun intended) is adding a nurse-themed cheerleading squad to the sideline this fall. Looks like UPMC marketing department is trying to recruit new patients by raising the collective blood pressure of the fans.
Stayed tuned to Wendy Bell’s Facebook page for more details on this breaking story.