Yinzers are mourning today. This morning, the big Heinz ketchup bottles above the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ scoreboard came down.
Last week, it was announced that the team would be changing the name of their home from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. Even after the official announcement and everything that followed, it still did not seem real.
But this is as real as it gets. It is truly the end of an era in the NFL.
For those who do not know, the big, metal ketchup bottles would activate when the Steelers’ offense would get in the “Heinz Red Zone” during home games. From atop the scoreboard, they would start to tip over. Then the caps would “open” and red would “spill” out and cover the screen. The crowd went wild.
Never in a million years would I think this could be an emotional sight.
In response, 93.7 The Fan host Colin Dunlap had a hilarious idea of what could be next for the novelty items.
Team President Thought Pittsburgh Steelers Might Keep Them
During the announcement press conference last week, team president Art Rooney was asked about the novelty objects above the scoreboard.
“We appreciate the 20-plus-year relationship we’ve had with Heinz and we’re optimistic and hopeful we’ll continue to have a sponsorship relationship with them,” Rooney said. “Who knows, the ketchup bottles may be part of that. We’ll see.”
But that ended up being a false hope, just like his comments back in February 2022 when Rooney said he was “optimistic” Heinz would re-up their naming rights deal.
When the 68,400-capacity venue first opened in 2001, Heinz purchased the naming rights in a 20-year, $57 million deal. The 57 is significant because Heinz has 57 different products. Now, the franchise is getting $150 million from Acrisure for the next 15 years.
It is possible that Heinz was not interested in signing a new deal. I mean, that would be a completely understandable thing for any company not to spend millions of dollars on. But for Acrisure – a company no one has heard of and quite frankly is even hard to say – to take over, though, sucks.