Heinz Field

Heinz Field

] The Steelers were scheduled to open the regular season play at Heinz Field on September 16 against the Cleveland Browns, however, due to the September 11, 2001 attacks, all NFL games of the week were postponed;cite book |title= One for the Thumb|last= Roberts|first= Randy|coauthors= David Welky|year= 2006|publisher= University of Pittsburgh Press|location= Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|isbn= 0822959453|pages=333] cite web |url= http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/2001-|title= NFL History|accessdate=2008-08-05 |work= 2001–2010|publisher= NFL.com] thus moving the stadium's premiere to October 7, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Prior to the game, a speech from US President George W. Bush, ordering attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was shown live on the stadium's JumboTron. [cite news |first= Chuck|last= Finder|title= The Big Picture: Home opener almost normal|url= http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/columnists/20011008thebig1008p1.asp|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2001-10-08|accessdate=2008-08-05] The speech was met with much applause and support from the spectators in attendance. Pittsburgh defeated the Bengals by a score of 16–7. Steelers kicker Kris Brown scored the first NFL points in the stadium on a 26-yard field goal, and quarterback Kordell Stewart scored the first touchdown on an eight yard run. [cite web |url= http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/boxscore?game_id=17730&displayPage=tab_box_score&season=2001&week=REG4&override=true|title= Box Score - Week 4|accessdate=2008-08-05 |work= NFL GameCenter|publisher= NFL.com|date= 2001-10-07]

In addition to football games, Heinz Field has hosted other various activities. Since its opening in 2001, bands including 'N Sync, Kenny Chesney, and LeAnn Rimes have performed at the stadium. [cite news |first= David|last= Copland|title= N. Side hears 'N Sync loud and clear |url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_55678.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2001-08-19|accessdate=2008-08-06] [cite news |title= Urban, Rimes join Chesney for Heinz Field concert|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/s_551295.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2008-02-08|accessdate=2008-08-06] In addition, hometown bands The Clarks and the Povertyneck Hillbillies have played multiple shows at the stadium. [cite news |first= Rochelle|last= Hentges|title= Hungry for some entertainment? Hit Heinz Field|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_370174.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2005-09-02|accessdate=2008-08-06] In 2002, the Pittsburgh Marathon concluded at Heinz Field, the course was altered from past years to allow competitors to cross the finish line on the field. [cite news |first= JoAnne|last= Klimovich Harrop|title= Marathon finds new home at Heinz Field|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_69007.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2002-05-01|accessdate=2008-08-06] In 2005, the Pittsburgh Wine Festival was held at Heinz Field, over 2,000 people attended. [cite news |first= Debra|last= Erdley|coauthors= Karin Welzel|title= Wine festival scores big at Heinz Field|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/s_331572.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2005-05-06|accessdate=2008-08-06] In 2007, writer Bill Evans named Heinz Field the second best stadium in the NFL, behind Lambeau Field, in an article for ESPN.com.cite news |first= Bill|last= Evans|title= The Ultimate Sports Road Trip's Best NFL Stadiums|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/travel/news/story?id=2569521|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2007-06-04|accessdate=2008-09-04]


Playing surface

In June 2001, Kentucky Bluegrass was laid on the field,cite web |url= http://www.steelers.com/heinzfield/stadiumfacts/|title= Heinz Field Stadium Fact Sheet |accessdate=2008-08-05 |publisher= Steelers.com] at half the height of most NFL field's 2 inch grass. The field is heated from below, using a mixture of antifreeze and hot water, to keep the field at around 62 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the grass growing year-round.cite news |first= Shelly|last= Anderson|title= High-tech turf awaits Steelers, Panthers |url= http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/20010824hturf0824P1.asp|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2001-08-01|accessdate=2008-08-06] The field was re-surfaced multiple times, until the synthetic-enhanced Desso GrassMaster was installed in 2003.cite news |first= Ed|last= Bouchette|title= Grass won't be greener (or new)|url= http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07034/759130-66.stm|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2007-02-03|accessdate=2008-08-05] Debate continued over the surface after players began slipping during game play. Despite this players and coaches of Pitt, the Steelers, and their opponents supported keeping the current turf. [cite news |first= Scott|last= Brown|title= Debate rages over Heinz Field turf|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_475534.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2006-10-18|accessdate=2008-08-05]

On Friday, November 21, 2007, Heinz Field hosted four WPIAL championship football games which were followed the day after with a game between Pitt played South Florida. After discussion with the NFL, [cite news |first= Ed|last= Bouchette|title= Steelers aim to dry out Heinz Field sod|url= http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07331/837135-66.stm|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2007-11-27|accessdate=2008-08-05] Steelers ownership made the decision to re-surface the field for their nationally televised game against Miami on Monday evening. A layer of sod was laid overtop the 2.5 acre Desso GrassMaster surface. [cite news |first= Linda Wilson|last= Fuoco|title= Turf topper: Heinz Field surface sporting new temporary sod|url= http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07330/836770-53.stm|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2007-11-26|accessdate=2008-08-05] The field's condition was exacerbated by 1½ inches of rain after the new sod had been laid,cite news |author= Associated Press|authorlink= Associated Press|title= After pondering change, Steelers staying with grass field|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3241559|work= NFL|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2008-02-11|accessdate=2008-08-05] which did not allow the tarp to be removed from the field until 70 minutes before the game began. [cite news |first= Joe|last= Starkey|title= Heinz Field surface 'like a beach'|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_539898.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2007-11-27|accessdate=2008-08-05 ] The Steelers won the game 3–0, with a field goal with 17 seconds remaining in regulation. [cite news |author= Associated Press|authorlink= Associated Press|title= Dolphins continue woeful ways, fall to 0-11 after sloppy game|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=271126023|work= NFL|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2007-11-26|accessdate=2008-08-05] Scott Brown, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, called the field a "veritable mud pit".cite news |first= Scott|last= Browns|title= NFLPA's Upshaw calls out Heinz Field grass|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_550254.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2008-02-01|accessdate=2008-08-05] While Gene Upshaw, head of the National Football League Players' Association, also criticized the field citing a 2006 survey of NFL players that ranked Heinz Field as the second worst field in the league. Steelers receiver Hines Ward called the playing conditions "horrendous" after the game. [cite news |first= John|last= Clayton|authorlink= John Clayton|title= Steelers prevail in 'horrendous' conditions|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=3129295|work= NFL|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2007-11-27|accessdate=2008-08-05] However, the following day he and other Pittsburgh players lobbied to keep the natural surface stating, "I think everybody wants to keep the grass."cite news |author= Associated Press|authorlink= Associated Press|title= Steelers players lobby against artificial turf|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=3132522|work= NFL|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2007-11-28|accessdate=2008-08-05] Debate continued over the field later in the season when Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor called the field "a lawsuit pending". [cite news |author= Associated Press|authorlink= Associated Press|title= Taylor no fan of Steelers' muck-like conditions at Heinz Field|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3176517|work= NFL|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2008-01-01|accessdate=2008-08-05] Pittsburgh's ownership stated that the decision was up to the players, who once again defended the natural surface. [cite news |author= Associated Press|authorlink= Associated Press|title= Grass or fake grass? Steelers haven't decided yet|url= http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=3187163|work= NFL|publisher= ESPN.com|date= 2008-01-08|accessdate=2008-08-05] In February 2008, the Steelers announced that they would keep the Desso GrassMaster surface.

eating and tickets

As of 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers have sold out every home game since the 1972 season.cite news |author= Associated Press|authorlink= Associated Press|title= Steelers' former radio announcer Myron Cope dies at 79|url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2008-02-27-cope-obit_N.htm|publisher= USA Today|date= 2008-02-28|accessdate=2008-06-07] Entering the 2008 season, the Steelers average ticket price of $67.47 were the 17th highest out of the NFL's 32 teams. [cite news |first= Alan|last= Robinson|authorlink= Associated Press|title= Steelers ticket prices again below league average|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_586709.html?source=rss&feed=9|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2008-09-05|accessdate=2008-09-06] The majority of the 65,050 seats are colored "Steeler gold", though club seats are dark gray. Heinz Field features 1,500 seats in 129 luxury boxes, with prices ranging from $44,000 to $125,000 depending on location and size. These boxes were predicted to increase the Steelers' profits from $10 to $11 million per season over those at Three Rivers Stadium. The stadium also features 6,600 club seats that include a restaurant and an indoor bar, at prices up to $1,900 per person.cite news |first= Gerry|last= Dulac|title= Revenue from premium seating is the coin of the realm in the NFL |url= http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/20010824hluxury0824P1.asp|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2001-0-01|accessdate=2008-08-06] For the 2008–09 season ticket prices for Panthers games range from a maximum of $270 per club seat with required donations per seat between $250 and $500 depending on location, to as low as $72 per seat for upper end zone sections. [cite web| title= 2008 Ticket Information|publisher= PittsburghPanthers.com| date= 2008-08-06| url= http://pittsburghpanthers.cstv.com/tickets/pitt-tickets-m-footbl08.html#a1| accessdate= 2008-08-06] Attendance for Panther games has varied; four games were sold-out through the stadium's first seven seasons. The Panthers averaged 59,197 people per game throughout the 2003 season, however, the figure dropped to 33,680 in 2007. [cite news |first= Kevin|last= Gorman|title= Off-campus location a factor in Pitt game attendance|url= http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/college/s_539448.html|publisher= Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|date= 2007-11-24|accessdate=2008-08-06]

Great Hall

The Coca-Cola Great Hall spans approximately 40,000 square feet on the east side of the stadium and houses a collection of Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers memorabilia. The Hall includes a timeline of the Steelers franchise's major events, an oversized Steelers helmet hangs from the ceiling beside a video screen that shows entertainment for fans throughout game days. The Great Hall also features the actual lockers of several former Steelers, including Hall of Fame members Franco Harris, Joe Greene, and Bill Dudley. Five large Super Bowl trophies-shaped display columns were erected and contain artifacts from each championship the Steelers have won including replica trophies. Two display columns are dedicated to the University of Pittsburgh and contain memorabilia from the Panthers' teams. The floor is painted to resemble the field at Three Rivers Stadium, with the word "Steelers" painted in black over a gold background.cite news |first= Gerry|last= Dulac|title= Great Hall a Steelers shrine |url= http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/20010824hhonor0824P1.asp|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2001-08-01|accessdate=2008-08-06] University of Pittsburgh players are featured on two large murals within the Hall. Eight additional tile murals created by local high schools represent western Pennsylvania football history.cite web| title= Official site of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Coca-Cola Great Hall| publisher= Pittsburgh Steelers| url= http://news.steelers.com/heinzfield/cocacolagreathall/|accessdate= 2008-08-06] In 2007, the Great Hall named the best concourse at an NFL stadium by writer Bill Evans, in an article for ESPN.com.


Further Reading

*cite book |title= House of Steel: Heinz Field and the Dawn of a New Era in Pittsburgh|author= Pittsburgh Steelers|authorlink= Pittsburgh Steelers|year= 2002|url= http://books.google.com/books?id=La9GAQAACAAJ&dq=Heinz+Field&ei=uheZSLjSAoaCjwG7lc3OBw|location= China|isbn= 0972166408

External links

* [http://www.steelers.com/heinzfield/ Official website]
* [http://pittsburghpanthers.cstv.com/facilities/pitt-facilities-heinz.html Homepage at PittsburghPanthers.com]

succession box
title = Home of the
Pittsburgh Steelers
years = 2001 – present
before = Three Rivers Stadium
after = current
succession box
title = Home of the
University of Pittsburgh
years = 2001 – present
before = Three Rivers Stadium
after = current

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