About Heinz Field
Heinz Field is a football stadium located in the North Shore neighborhood, just across the Allegheny River from
downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the home stadium facility of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL franchise and
the University of Pittsburgh Panthers college football team. The stadium sits on approximately 12.4 acres (50,000 m2)
of land and has a seating capacity of 64,450, including approximately 6,600 club seats and a capacity of approximately
1,500 in 127 suites. It was built with a mixture of private and public funds to replace Three Rivers Stadium. Three
Rivers was also the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team; they moved into PNC Park before Three Rivers was
demolished. One purpose of building the new facilities was to provide each team with a dedicated building rather than
a single shared-use stadium. Heinz Field and PNC Park were built opposite each other across the Three Rivers site, which
is now a parking lot serving both stadiums and the site of several office building developments. The stadium sits directly
across from "The Point" which is the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers to form the Ohio River.
Heinz Field is primarily a football facility, though it has also hosted soccer games and concerts-in fact the first event
at the venue was a concert by pop band 'N Sync shortly after the stadium opened in August 2001. The Steelers debuted there
during the 2001-2002 NFL season. The stadium is a bowl design with an open end facing south. The open end allows views of
the Pittsburgh skyline across the Allegheny River.
The stadium's naming rights were acquired by the H. J. Heinz Company, and thus it is affectionately called "The Big
Ketchup Bottle" by ESPN announcer Chris Berman and "The Mustard Palace" (a nod to its yellow seats) by many Pittsburgh-area
sportscasters. The rights were acquired for $57 million, partially in a nod to the "57 varieties" claimed
on its ketchup bottles. The main scoreboard at the south end of the stadium is flanked by neon red Heinz ketchup bottles,
which rotate and appear to pour out ketchup when the Steelers enter the red zone during games.
Unlike Three Rivers, the playing surface at Heinz Field is natural grass. The field features underground heating to help
the grass survive Pittsburgh's winter climate. As a result, the field is known for its difficult kicking surface; the only
field goal over 50 yards was 51 yards, kicked by Pat McAfee of the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Backyard Brawl
on November 16, 2006. The NFL record for kicking is just 50 yards, set by Jeff Reed in the 2006 season. In 2006, the NFL
Players Association conducted a poll in which the grass at Heinz was selected as the worst grass field in the league.