The Steelers moved in 2001 from Three Rivers Stadium to Heinz Field, a structure built next to the venue shared by the Steelers and the Pirates for three decades. While the Steelers will still be playing in the same building, the building reportedly will soon have a new name.
Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh reports that Heinz will end its 21-year arrangement to put it name on the place where the Steelers play.
But don’t expect the name to revert to Three Rivers Stadium; per Fillipponi, a new naming-rights sponsor could be announced as soon as this week.
The possibility of a new name for Heinz Field has been percolating for a while. The original deal expired after the 2020 season; the two sides agreed to a one-year extension. In February, Steelers owner Art Rooney II said he was “optimistic” that Heinz would renew the arrangement.
Heinz paid $57 million under the 20-year agreement, an annual average of $2.85 million. The Steelers surely can do a lot better than that now — clearly, a lot better than Kraft Heinz was willing to pay.
SoFi, for example, is paying $20 million per year under a 20-year deal to put its name on the stadium where the Rams and Chargers play in L.A.
It will take some getting used to a new name for the Steelers’ stadium. Heinz is synonymous with Pittsburgh, and it was one of the few stadiums that carried a corporate name without the name being infected by a corporate feel. It just felt right, organic. It will be difficult it not impossible for the new name to carry that same vibe.