There is something about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers stadium called Heinz Field. Whether it is the nickname of the ‘Big Ketchup Bottle’, or the fact the name hasn’t changed since the stadium opened in 2001, there are reports circulating Heinz might not renew their contract to keep Heinz on the top of the football stadium.
Per the Sports Business Journal, the company is considering cutting ties with the naming rights.
For more information on this report, Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports provided more details:
When the deal was signed, the H.J. Heinz Co. was a Pittsburgh institution with a singular headquarters Downtown. In 2015, two years after being bought by equity firms, it was merged with Kraft of Chicago and renamed Kraft Heinz. The company insists it maintains headquarters in both cities, but emphasis has shifted in recent years toward Chicago.
That’s one reason a renewal is unlikely. The other is the price tag.
The Steelers collect $2.85 million annually on the current deal, and they’re known to be seeking something in the $10 million range, as other NFL teams are getting. With the Heinz name fading in the Kraft Heinz picture -- although it’s still globally known for its ketchup brand -- the urgency to push it, particularly in Pittsburgh, isn’t seen as worth that level of investment.
Could the Steelers follow so many other stadiums in having an ever-changing stadium name? It might just be the name of a stadium, but for Steelers fans it means more than that.
Kraft said the two parties are in negotiations, so no need to fret yet.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they continue their training camp practices and prepare for the preseason in just over one week’s time.