Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is Heinz Field, the home of 6-time Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers. In addition to serving as the home field of the NFL’s Steelers, it’s also the home of the University of Pittsburgh’s Panthers.
Named after the Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Company, the stadium was opened in 2001, the same year the naming rights were purchased by the Heinz Company.
The project was part of a joint venture which also included the construction of PNC Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. The project had an estimated cost of $281 million, but grew to $375.5 million over the years.
Staying true to Pittsburgh history in the steel industry, around 12,000 tons of steel were included in the design of the stadium.
Ground was broken on the project in June of 1999, and the Steelers opened their brand new home field in front of a sellout crowd in September of 2001.
The stadium has always featured a natural grass playing surface which has garnered much criticism over the years due to the excessive amount of games played on it throughout the football season with the Pittsburgh University Panthers also playing their home games there. The field tends to wear down later in the year, bringing hazardous conditions to the teams playing.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates used to share the same stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, from 1970 to 2000. The Pirates initiated talks to have their own stadium built, and were met with a proposal for renovations of the current stadium. The Steelers then joined the push for a new stadium of their own. After the joined effort, the cit of Pittsburgh agreed to a deal, and plans for the construction of both a new baseball and football stadium were put into motion.
•Opened: August 18, 2001
•Playing Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
•Location: 100 Art Rooney Avenue,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212
• In June of 2001, H.J. Heinz Company purchased the naming rights at a price of $57 million and the contract would last until 2021. The $57 million was an ode to “Heinz 57,” the old company slogan referencing the 57 varieties of condiments.
• A sales tax was originally introduced to pay for the construction of the two new professional sporting stadiums, but was eventually rejected by the city. Plan B was put into motion where the Steelers agreed to pledge $76.5 million toward the project. Many criticized them saying it wasn’t enough, but on July 9, 1998, $233 million was approved for the construction of Heinz Field, as apart of the agreement the Steelers would stay in the city through the year 2031.
• The stadium was originally opened by a music concert event featuring the group ‘N Sync on August 18, 2001. The Steelers officially opened the stadium for a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on August 25, 2001.
• The largest ever attendance recorded at the stadium was reached on November 30, 2002 when the Backyard Brawl College Football game between the local Pittsburgh Panthers and the West Virginia Mountaineers drew a crowd of 66,731.
Past and Current Teams
Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) (2001–present)
Pittsburgh Panthers (NCAA) (2001–present)