The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is a group of individuals who are concerned about a lot of things. One of the things that’s been on their mind this offseason has been what they will call the stadium where their favorite team plays their home games in 2022?
As most fans know, the Heinz, now Kraft-Heinz, corporation signed a 20-year deal to keep the naming rights for the stadium since its opening in 2001. There was a one-year agreement made in 2021 which expired in February of 2022. Since that time, many have asked me, in a multitude of ways, whether there is any update on the naming rights for the stadium.
Short answer is no, there isn’t. This is the latest statement from Kraft-Heinz on the discussions which are ongoing.
“We are in discussions with the Steelers organization and are still considering our collaboration options. We’re proud of our 21 years of partnership to date,” the statement said. “Kraft Heinz is committed to our ongoing presence in and support of the Pittsburgh community, which remains our co-headquarters.”
As for the Steelers, they have been mum on the topic as well. This statement came from Steelers spokesperson Burt Lauten.
“We are focused primarily on conversations with Kraft Heinz about extending the current relationship. I don’t want to speculate anything beyond that,” Lauten said.
What was interesting is how the most recent statement from Kraft Heinz acknowledged the discussions and said the company hopes to finalize its plans in the next few months.
That was at the end of March, 2022.
With the season nearing, you have to wonder what the status is of the naming rights. Would the Steelers and Kraft-Heinz do another short-term deal, another one-year deal or a long-term deal to keep the stadium Heinz Field for the foreseeable future?
One thing is certain, naming rights for sporting venues has sky-rocketed recently. As examples, Crypto.com purchased the naming rights of the Los Angeles basketball arena for a reported $700 million, and SoFi bought the rights for a new Los Angeles football stadium for more than $600 million.
Fans want the stadium to remain Heinz Field for logical reasons, but if the name does change it is unlikely to be as devastating as some might expect. When you consider the Pittsburgh Penguins’ arena was originally Consol Energy Center, only to be changed to PPG Paints arena. Sure, there was an adjustment to this, but it ultimately was just the place the Penguins play.
The deadline for the season is nearing, so it seems safe to say there should be some news surrounding this story in the near future.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of training camp on July 26th at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.