The Pittsburgh Steelers have not only one of the most wide-ranging, but also one of the most well-traveled fan bases in all of American professional sports. That is why they are able to turn so many away games into home games, thanks to the vocal presence of their own supporters—to the chagrin of the home team. But does the owner mind? The tickets still get sold, after all.
Still, while they may get the home treatment at times while on the road, there is no way to replicate the true home experience, and that includes stepping out of the tunnel at Heinz Field and taking in the entire scene, from the yellow seats to the swirling Terrible Towels to the open face of the stadium over looking the city of Pittsburgh.
It’s a beautiful stadium. Which is why it is no surprise to recently see it ranked favorably in comparison to the home stadiums of the league’s other 31 teams. Sporting News published an article that listed Heinz Field fifth in the league of all 31 stadiums (as the New York Giants and New York Jets share a home, of course).
“This venue gets bonus points for serving as a great supporting actor in The Dark Night Rises, even if its playing surface was CGI-harmed in the process” Vinnie Iyer wrote.” It’s a beautiful open setting worthy of all the traditions of Black and Gold, down to the last Terrible Towel”.
Obviously a pretty bare-bones description, but that is what you are going to get through a list. For comparison’s sake, the top four stadiums, ranked in order, were Lambeau Field (for the Green Bay Packers), CenturyLink Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks), AT&T Stadium (also known as Jerry World, where the Dallas Cowboys reside), and Arrowhead Stadium (the Kansas City Chiefs’ territory). Lambeau and Arrowhead are, of course, two of the iconic stadiums in the NFL.
What is good about Heinz Field is that the Steelers have been active in continually working to improve. A pub expansion, for example, is currently underway there and is set to be complete by the start of the regular season. They also got a gigantic new video board last season, and they added a few thousand new seats recently as well.
It may have been a bit of trial and error trying to dial everything in, but the grounds crew runs like clockwork now. They re-sod the playing surface a few times a year now to accommodate the extensive amount of use it receives. It once was an ugly affair by the end of the year but is usually among the nicest in the league today.
Many of you of course have spent an afternoon, or even dozens, at attendance at Heinz Field over the course of the years. What are some of your favorite things about the stadium that the Steelers call home? If you’ve been to many other stadiums around the league, how would you compare it?