Along with all of Steelers Nation, I was shocked to see that Heinz would no longer be the name of our beloved stadium. Once Heinz Field, now Acrisure Stadium While I was alive for Three Rivers Stadium, I was too young to have ever known what football was. My whole life it’s been Heinz Field, that’s all I’ve ever known. But now we turn the page to the future, Acrisure Stadium. It still doesn’t sound right but we’ll get there. We do have at least 15 years of it, after all. Steelers fans haven’t held back on social media either, disgusted with the name change, while other Steelers fans have found a way to shed some light on the situation.
The introductory press conference with Team President Art Rooney II and Acrisure Co-Founder, Chairman, CEO, and lifetime Steelers fan Greg Williams on July 12th. Rooney II didn’t want to divulge the financials of the deal but did let us know that it’s a 15-year deal. All that means to me is that Acrisure ponied up some serious cash. Rooney proclaimed “This partnership brings us into a more competitive range with other stadiums around the country” So hopefully this means big-time upgrades to the classic stadium we all know and love.
One thing Rooney II made clear was getting an upgrade was the escalators at the stadium. For both games I attended last year, there were problems with the escalators which sent masses of people to walk up multiple sets of stairs or the rotunda. A total mess when you’re pressed for time, trying to get to your seat before the player introductions shake the building it seems.
Hopefully, the suits upstairs have more upgrades in place to renovate Acrisure Stadium up to the standard of modern-day stadiums while also keeping that gritty, nostalgic feeling that the Steelers fans know and love.
My initial reaction was not great, but the more time has gone on it’s settled in better, I guess you could say. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as Heinz Field did. I’m positive im not alone when I say I will still be calling it Heinz Field for the foreseeable future. Whether that’s accidentally or subconsciously on purpose, i cant tell you. We’ll get used to it one day, Right?
Rooney II did say at the press conference that they did field offers from local companies to try to keep it local, and never shut the door on those offers, but decided to go with Acrisure. As nice as it would’ve been to keep the name local, Heinz is probably barely local anymore anyways. All the higher-ups have been hired recently and replaced the people that held the Steelers close to their hearts.
At the end of the day, it’s not the name that makes a great stadium. It’s the players on the field and the fans in the stands. We’ll still be the rowdy crowd we’ve always been, filling up the North Shore with Yinzers on a chilly Pittsburgh Sunday in the fall. You’ll still get those goosebumps when Cam Heyward runs out of the tunnel. You’ll still get your pregame tailgates in. Do we all wish to still see the big red bottles when we show up to the games? Of course. But that’s not what makes or breaks Steeler Nation.
We’ll all still get to wave our gold towels to create a sea of gold, Renegade will still play, and come September, we’ll be kicking off at Acrisure Stadium. Until then, hope to see you all at Training Camp in Latrobe where we’ll get to see what this team is made of.