“Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers”
Heinz Field is a stadium located in the North Shore neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It primarily serves as the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers American football teams, members of the National Football League (NFL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) respectively. The stadium opened in 2001, after the controlled implosion of the teams' previous stadium, Three Rivers Stadium. The stadium is named for locally-based H. J. Heinz Company, which purchased the naming rights in 2001. It hosted the 2011 NHL Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals on January 1, 2011.
Funded in conjunction with PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the $281 million ($364.3 million today) stadium stands along the Ohio River, on the Northside of Pittsburgh in the North Shore neighborhood. The stadium was designed with the city of Pittsburgh's history of steel production in mind, which led to the inclusion of 12,000 tons of steel into the design. Ground for the stadium was broken in June 1999 and the first football game was hosted in September 2001. The stadium's natural grass surface has been criticized throughout its history, but Steelers ownership has kept the grass after lobbying from players and coaches. Attendance for the 65,050 seat stadium has sold out for every Steelers home game, a streak which dates back to 1972 (a year before local telecasts of home games were permitted in the NFL). A collection of memorabilia from the Steelers and Panthers of the past can be found in the Great Hall.
Unique about the field is the design itself. Initially, the south end zone had either "Steelers" or "Panthers" painted in the end zone, depending on the game itself. The north end zone has always read "Pittsburgh", which is painted in gold lettering and trimmed in either black for the Steelers or dark blue for Pitt. Although there is typically no midfield logo when both Pitt and the Steelers are in season, both teams have applied their logo if the field's schedule allows for a sufficient break to remove or apply the other team's logo for that team's next upcoming game. The Steelers have typically added their logo to midfield after Pitt's football season has ended.
In 2003, the Steelers played the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Steagles team, when the two merged as a result of player shortages caused by World War II. Steelers president Dan Rooney had initially considered wearing a throwback uniform for the game, but decided against it because the merged team wore the Eagles uniforms, and the Steelers didn't want to wear the Eagles' colors. Instead, the team had the south end zone painted in plain diagonal white lines, which were common in NFL endzones until the 1960s.
Although the Steelers lost the game 21–16, Rooney liked the look of the south end zone being "plain", and decided to keep it permanently. As with the team's logo at midfield, the Steelers paint "Steelers" in the south end zone once the college football season ends. The plain design in the south end zone has caught on in the NFL, with the Green Bay Packers also adopting the plain diagonal white lines in the end zones at Lambeau Field.
Best stadium in the NFL. Great fans, great venue, great team, etc. There isn't a bad seat in the house, the tailgating before the game is always fun, GREAT place to watch a game.
Obviously I'll give this a 5, being a diehard Steelers fan. Fun place to watch a game on the river.
Full disclosure: I'm a Browns fan. Okay now that that's out of the way... it's in an awesome location near some cool stuff and offers great views. As for the inside... it's a stadium. Nothing too special. There's a Primanti Bros inside so non-locals can sample their famed sandwiches. Oh, and since this is the NFL, remember... no purses, no umbrellas, no outside food or drink. :(
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