From the PG
The Steelers do not have a Hall of Fame, they do not have a Ring of Honor, they do not erect statues, they officially have retired just one jersey number, and they do not sign players to one-day contracts and let them retire as a "Steeler" if they had played elsewhere.
At least one of those things could change.
The Steelers are considering opening a Hall of Fame or, more aptly, a museum as part of a Heinz Field reconstruction that will add 4,000 to 5,000 seats and improvements in other areas in 2012 or 2013. At the moment, the expansion or reconstruction is estimated to cost around $30 million.
As for the museum, they have one of sorts -- the Great Hall -- on the ground floor inside Heinz Field, but under consideration would be a true museum that would include much more and open year-round and not just for 10 home games to ticket-holders. The possibilities are immense.
A friend, Vic Ketchman, long has said the Steelers needed such a facility. Ketchman covered the Steelers in the 1970s, '80s and '90s for the old Irwin Standard-Observer before he joined the Jacksonville Jaguars to produce their team paper and run their website. He now runs the web for the Green Bay Packers, who have hands down the best (and one of the few) thriving team museums in the NFL.
Few teams have such a rich and deep history as the Steelers and such a fan following. A museum could be a destination in itself with endless possibilities that would be immensely popular and likely draw fans from around the country. They could run package deals for those coming from out of town to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and the Pittsburgh Sports History Museum in the Strip District.
The Packers' museum is a money-maker, and there is no reason the Steelers could not equal or surpass that, especially since Pittsburgh is more accessible by land and air (and river) than Green Bay. The Steelers could sell retro jerseys and all kinds of memorabilia -- old photos, have autograph sessions with their great players, etc. The ideas are limitless.
A Steelers Hall of Fame would not induct anyone, per se, but be a living museum of sorts. Forget building statues. The Steelers built the only one they need, to franchise founder Art Rooney Sr. Better to have plaques on a wall inside the new museum, starting with all of those Pro Football Hall of Famers. They could rotate a player of the month and feature one player whose career did not land him in the Hall of Fame but is worth featuring on a rotating basis. They could start with Jack Butler and proceed directly to Andy Russell and LC Greenwood -- three players who still could get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame through the veterans committee.
They could even rotate their six Lombardi Trophies in there one at a time.