On the banks of the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, Heinz Field hosts the Steelers, who hold the record for the most Super Bowl wins with six Vince Lombardi trophies, including a pair in the last decade. This facility opened on August 18th, 2001, with a construction cost of $281 million. The new stadium took over duties for the storied Three Rivers Stadium, which also hosted the Pirates for three decades.
The Pittsburgh Steelers never have an unsold seat for any of their games, with a sellout streak leading back to 1972. Recently, however, night games have had an increase in no-shows, with the exception of games against their hated rivals the Baltimore Ravens, which usually results in more than 99% of all seats filled.
One of the more unique fixtures of the field are the pair of gigantic ketchup bottles that hover over the facility. According to calculations, if the bottles contained ketchup, the contents would measure 1,664,000 ounces per bottle, which would be enough to cover the field in a coating of ketchup three-quarters of an inch thick.
Pittsburgh Steelers Stadium
Due to their relentless loyalty and passion, Steelers fans are often considered among the best in the league, even earning grudging plaudits from ESPN. Casual anecdotes of fans saving up vacation time and money to travel home to visit their beloved Steelers are common among Steeler Nation. As a result, the team enjoys a home field advantage that measures higher than average. Over the past five years at home, the Steelers have a 28-12 record, good for a .700 winning percentage.
Pittsburgh players tend to praise the natural Kentucky Bluegrass surface, even going as far as stating that it has helped reduced the severity of injuries such as concussions. The rest of the league completely disagrees with that verdict, rating Heinz Field as the worst natural grass surface in the NFL during the 2008 and 2010 NFLPA surveys on the quality of playing surfaces around the league.
Similar to the natural turf of FirstEnergy Stadium, the field is heated from below. While Cleveland’s stadium employs an intricate piping system, Pittsburgh uses a mix of antifreeze and warm water to keep the grass playable.
Date Opened: August 18th, 2001
Construction Cost: $281 million
Architect: Populous; WTW Architects
Capacity Attendance: 68,400
Playing Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
Previous Pittsburgh Steelers Stadiums
Three Rivers Stadium, Pitt Stadium, Comiskey Park, Shibe Park, Forbes Field
Other Major Events
The other big team at Heinz Field are the Pittsburgh Panthers football team, which moved into the facility at the same time as the Steelers. Another big annual football event is the WPIAL High School Championships, which have also been played at Heinz since 2001.
2011 NHL Winter Classic
The Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins played on New Year’s Day, pitting two of the top talents in the sport, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, against each other. The Capitals came out on top with a 3-1 victory in what was the highest rated regular season game in 36 years and the best rated hockey game since 1996.
A.C. Milan and Manchester City played at Heinz Field on July 27th, 2014, for the International Champions Cup. Manchester City overwhelmed A.C. Milan with a 5-1 score.