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PBKC owner Patrick Rooney Sr. dies

Palm Beach County resident, who was son of Steelers founder, was 84
Patrick Rooney Jr..jpg
Posted at 8:43 PM, Nov 01, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Patrick Rooney Sr., the son of the Pittsburgh Steelers founder and owner of PBKC, formerly Palm Beach Kennel Club, died Sunday. He was 84.

Rooney, a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, was the son of Art Rooney Sr. The Steelers have won six Super Bowls.

"Pat Sr.’s contributions to the Palm Beach Kennel Club and other Rooney family businesses were immeasurable," PBKC said in a statement on Facebook. "Pat was also known for giving back to the community, and he has been honored with several prestigious awards. He shall be known for his generosity, his faith, his lively personality, and especially his love for his family, friends, and golf. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sandy, his children, his family, and his many friends.

A Mass will take place on Saturday at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 33410. Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1 p.m. followed by the mass.

Patrick Rooney Sr. in 1984 moved to Palm Beach County to oversee the greyhound track for his father, who bought it in 1970 for about $7 million. He later was president and CEO of the track.

Greyhounds are no longer racing the PBKC after Florida voters passed a constitutional referendum in 2018 banning the sport after December 31, 2020.

Pari-mutual betting, poker, dining and entertainment still exist at the site at 1111 Congress Ave, near Palm Beach International Airport.

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PBKC is under contract to be sold to a real estate firm that plans to redevelop the site into a massive mixed-use complex featuring up to 2,000 housing units. The betting operation, including the possibility of sports betting in a partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, will exist

He was one of five sons of the founder, who had equal ownership of the Steelers at one time. His twin brother Dan Rooner, who was president and chairman, died last year. Dan's son, Art II, has been the Steelers president since 2003.

Rooney Sr. handed over running PBKC to his son, Patrick Rooney Jr., in 2009.

Patrick Rooney Jr., Palm Beach Kennel Club president
Patrick Rooney hopes the court system soon allows sports betting in Florida.

Rooney had seven children with his wife Sandra.

The younger Rooney was a former member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2010-16. Other sons include Tom Rooney, a former U.S. congressman from 2009-19; Joe Rooney, who helped open the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott and a partner with Pat Jr. to launch Rooney-themed restaurants in West Palm Beach, Jupiter and Palm Beach International Airport.