For the past 20 years, the Steelers‘ home in Pittsburgh was known as Heinz Field, but that changed this week, and based on the early reaction, it seems that most fans aren’t happy about the fact that there’s a new name.
That new name is Acrisure Stadium and it’s likely going to be the name for awhile since the company signed a 15-year deal with the Steelers for the naming rights to the stadium.
Despite the fact that there’s a long-term contract in place, fans in Pittsburgh are doing their best to try and get the name changed. One fan has even started a Change.org petition that’s already been signed by nearly 2,000 people.
The petition was started by a fan named Daniel Sass and here’s what he had to say about the name change. “Heinz Field is the only sponsored stadium that the team has ever played in,” Sass wrote. “Previously playing at Three Rivers Stadium, Pitt Stadium, and before that, Forbes Field. But now the Heinz Field sponsorship is no more. Its new name was just announced and it is HORRIBLE!”
Sass then added that “Anything” would have been better than Acrisure Stadium.
“An out-of-state sponsor comes in and inflicts this name change on us that isn’t even easy to pronounce,” Sass wrote.
The petition is asking the Steelers to change the name to pretty much anything other than Acrisure Stadium. Sass even noted that he’d be happy with the team going back to the “Three Rivers Stadium” name that was used for the building where the Steelers played from 1970 to 2000.
Steelers fans aren’t just signing petitions either, they’re also buying shirts that say, “I’m still calling it Heinz Field.”
This is all probably slightly awkward for Acrisure, the insurance brokerage firm based in Michigan that just paid for the naming rights. Of course, if they subscribe to the theory that “all publicity is good publicity,” then it’s possible that they’re more than happy about how things have turned out.
If you’re wondering why Heinz gave up on the naming rights after holding them for 20 years, the company explained the situation on Monday, and like most things in life, it all came down to money. Acrisure is paying an estimated $10 million per year for the naming rights, which was more than Heinz was willing to pay. The ketchup company’s previous contract with the Steelers called for Heinz to pay just $2.85 million per year, but that deal expired following the 2021 season.