Heinz Field finally will have a new field. And you can thank U2 for it.
According to Sean Gentille of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the powers-that-be in Pittsburgh have installed an entirely new playing surface for the first time since 2003. The move happened as a result of damage to the field resulting from U2’s concert on June 7.
As Gentille explains it, a concert at Heinz Field typically results in only the top layer of the field being replaced. Thanks to U2, the entire field was completely replaced.
“Everything from the grass to the soil is gone,” Heinz Field head of corporate communications Nick Sero said.
The soil, topped by Kentucky bluegrass, was placed over a new set of heating pipes. In October, the sod between the 35-yard lines will be replacements. After a series of high school games in November, the full top layer will be replaced.
Each year, Heinz Field hosts 10 Steelers game (plus playoffs), six Pitt games, and four high school games. That’s at least 20 games, with as many as 22, if the Steelers host a pair of playoff games.
Heinz Field remains notorious for a disastrous Monday night game between the Steelers and Dolphins from 2007, which included a punt that didn’t bounce.
UPDATE 5:05 p.m. ET: The Steelers dispute the report from the Post-Gazette that the U2 concert caused enough damage to require an entirely new field. Team spokesman Burt Lauten says a new field already had been planned.
UPDATE 8:37 a.m. ET 8/6/17: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has revised its article to acknowledge that the U2 show had nothing to do with the replacement of the field.