Consistently ranked among the top stadiums in the National Football League, Heinz Field is the perfect place for any fervent football fan to get their pigskin fix, particularly if they bleed black and yellow and consider themselves devout members of Steelers Nation. Located in Pittsburgh’s North Shore neighborhood along the Ohio River, the Steelers have been proud to call this impressive stadium home since 2001 with good reason. As remarkable from the outside as it is on the inside, it won’t take you very long to realize just how much the Steelers – like our beloved Canadiens – cherish their long and storied history, one that includes a league-best six Super Bowl titles since joining the NFL back in 1933. A walk at field level reveals a stadium that offers an estimated 65,500 spectators an unforgettable experience on Sundays, along with memories that will last a lifetime. It’s also worth noting that Heinz Field is no stranger to hockey. The facility played host to the 2011 NHL Winter Classic that saw the Capitals down the Penguins 3-1 on New Year’s Day.
For the players who are fortunate enough to don a Steelers jersey on game day, this expansive locker room is where the journey to success begins. Head coach Mike Tomlin addresses his troops from the logo at the center of the room before they hit the field. A hub of activity on Sundays, there’s no shortage of space for players to stretch, dress and relax before going head-to-head with some of the toughest competitors on the planet. Going to war once a week isn’t easy on the body, so the Steelers insist their players have everything they need to perform at the highest level over the course of a long and often taxing regular season campaign. Interestingly enough, the Steelers’ locker room is adjacent to one occupied by Heinz Field’s other permanent tenants – the NCAA’s University of Pittsburgh Panthers – a school that boasts alums like Mike Ditka, Dan Marino and Larry Fitzgerald.
No trip to Heinz Field would be complete without taking the time to admire its gigantic scoreboard at the stadium’s south end. Featuring a state-of-the-art Daktronics video board, it also boasts a trademark pair of Heinz Ketchup bottles that weigh in at 8,000 lbs. each. If those bottles were filled to the top, they would contain enough ketchup to give each person seated at Heinz Field at least one 14-ounce bottle to take home. When the Steelers score a touchdown, the bottles atop the jumbotron tip over in celebration.
We all know that the month of April is playoff time in La Belle Province, something Montrealers look forward to as the regular season comes to a close. It also marks the return of those white playoff towels at the Bell Centre. In Pittsburgh, the unique ambiance created by fans waving their “Terrible Towels” has been a part of Steelers tradition since 1975. Over the years, it has become an integral part of the overall football experience at Heinz Field. The towel, which was first created by a Pittsburgh radio station, has undergone several transformations since debuting nearly 40 years ago, but has always maintained its trademark original color scheme.
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