Pittsburgh Steelers fans, particularly those in the area, were hoping that the team would be able to arrange something with the Heinz Kraft Company after the Acrisure insurance company acquired the naming rights for their stadium, formerly known as Heinz Field and now, begrudgingly, as Acrisure Stadium.
The Kansas City Chiefs were able to preserve the name of Arrowhead Stadium, but the field is now known as GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Well, it won’t be Heinz Field at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, but you will have a new Heinz Gate.
“At least one of the ketchup bottles is going to reappear here right at the new Heinz Gate, which is the old Gate C”, Steelers president Art Rooney II told Jenna Harner for WPXI in an exclusive interview. “The Heinz folks renamed that gate, and we’re working on having one of the ketchup bottles displayed over there. Hopefully it’ll turn out good”.
In a tragic scene back in July, crews showed up on the scene at the newly-named Acrisure Stadium and removed and hauled away extremely large Heinz ketchup bottles, which had been a fixture of the décor for some time.
The former Gate C, now known as the Heinz Gate, is located near the Bud Light deck between sections 527 and 528, next to the northwest ramp of Acrisure Stadium. You can now get all of your favorite corporate sponsorship needs taken care of before you enter the stadium.
Shortly after the Steelers announced the name change, Bob Labriola wrote that he believes the organization gave Heinz every opportunity to come to a fair agreement. Pittsburgh had the most generous naming rights deal in the league, the original deal totaling just $57 million over 20 years.
Acrisure is believed to have agreed to a $10 million a year arrangement, $150 in total over 15 seasons, which is still a relative bargain. The Steelers certainly could have gotten even more for the naming rights if they were that serious about maximizing the profits.
Heinz did sign a five-year partnership to remain a corporate sponsor of the team, though it wasn’t immediately expressed in what ways that would be made apparent. Team vice president of marketing Ryan Huzjak said at the time that the age of the bottles would be a challenge but that they were “hopeful to have them on display in a Heinz-sponsored area”.
Well, we now know where that area is going to be, even though many fans are still going to continue to call the stadium Heinz Field anyway. One thing I will say though is that an awful lot more people know the name Acrisure now than they did a year ago, so perhaps that was money well spent all the same.