The Thursday death of NFL Hall of Fame franchise owner Dan Rooney has prompted widespread condolences across sports circles, but it also left some questions about what would happen to the fortune of the patriarch of one of professional football's most revered family-owned teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rooney, who died at 84, had an estimated net worth of $500 million at the time of his death, which came just more than a month after members of his family were debating giving up shares of the valuable team it has had a majority ownership stake in since its founding in 1933.

The Steelers were considering making ownership changes, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported at the end of February. Rooney's father, Art Rooney Sr., founded the franchise. Art Rooney's grandson and Dan Rooney's son, Art Rooney II, is president of the team. At the time of Dan Rooney's death, he and Art Rooney II were in control of the franchise.

Read: Dan Rooney's Funeral Arrangements Announced

"It is a sad day for my family and me," Art Rooney II said in a brief statement on Thursday. "My father meant so much to all of us, and so much to so many past and present members of the Steelers organization. He gave his heart and soul to the Steelers, the National Football League, and the City of Pittsburgh. We will celebrate his life and the many ways he left us in a better place."

While it was likely that the elderly former U.S. ambassador to Ireland had a will prepared in advance of his death, the fate of his half-billion dollar estate was not immediately clear.

New ownership blood had been pumped into the veins of the Steelers in recent years, leading Art Rooney II to tell the Post-Gazette that the team's ownership group will most likely "result in some or all of my uncles owning a smaller percentage or may wind up not being an owner."

The Rooneys previously restructured Steelers ownership in 2009 to make it so that Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II were considered a single person who collectively owned 30 percent interest of the team. Now-former minority owners John Rooney and Pat Rooney would subsequently sell the lion share of each of their stakes in the team, and Tim Rooney sold all of his, leaving Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II in sole majority control of the Steelers.

Dan Rooney, who first came to official prominence with the team after his father named him president of the franchise in 1975, died a married man who had four sons and five daughters, two of whom had died, according to ESPN. The Steelers franchise is valued at slightly more than $1 billion.