Heinz Field/Acrisure Stadium has long been a desired destination for the Super Bowl.
Desired by whom, though?
Mostly, Steelers fans/Pittsburghers and people who don’t mind paying an ungodly amount of money to sit in the bitter cold and watch the NFL’s biggest game of the year.
Even though I am a native Pittsburgher who could get in my car and make it to Acrisure Stadium in under 15 minutes, I’ve always been against hosting a Super Bowl. Why? Who wants to pay two or three times the face value of an already expensive ticket just to get frostbite?
Call me old-fashioned, but I think a Super Bowl should almost always be played outdoors, and when it is, it should take place in a tropical climate. Miami could host it every few years, and when Miami isn’t hosting it, it could be played in Tampa or somewhere in California.
Anyway, I’m not sure if Pittsburgh will ever host a Super Bowl and how that would go logistically, but I think my city now has a pretty good idea thanks to singer Taylor Swift and her Swifties.
That’s right, Swift played back-to-back sold-out shows at Acrisure Stadium over the weekend—on Friday and Saturday night—and the area was electric.
After drawing over 72,000 fans to her Friday show, Swift broke the Acrisure Stadium record when 73,117 folks showed up on Saturday night.
Just how crazy was Pittsburgh in the days leading up to and during these back-to-back shows?
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey temporarily renamed the city Swiftsburgh.
You couldn’t find a hotel room for miles. The same could be said for parking. Two local top-40 radio stations dedicated their entire weekends to Taylor Swift’s music and one of them was handing out Taylor Towels.
Folks showed up hours early each day to engage in “Taygating.” Dozens of boats docked right outside Acrisure Stadium just so folks could vicariously partake in the event happening inside.
People invaded Mount Washington, a Pittsburgh neighborhood that overlooks Acrisure Stadium, just to hear Swift sing her songs. In addition to the thousands of folks who showed up with tickets, countless more came to Pittsburgh for no other reason but to party for a couple of days.
Instead of football jerseys and face paint, fans showed up dressed in various outfits that paid homage to Swift’s 10 eras (it’s called the Eras Tour, after all).
Just like the Super Bowl, angry folks took to social media to complain about the musical act: “I don’t get the hype for her. Give me Metallica!”
People also complained about the traffic, lack of parking, and the invasion of Swifties.
Just how expensive were tickets for these shows? They were going for four figures on the secondary market. My sister had a chance at two last-second tickets on Saturday for $200 a piece--or about five times more than what you'd pay for last-second Steelers tickets on the secondary market.
In addition to her many fans, Swift's entourage—including countless production trucks—invaded the region to set up shop for the weekend.
I can’t imagine a Super Bowl Week in Pittsburgh being any more insane than what the area just experienced during Taylor Swift’s back-to-back shows this past weekend.
What that tells me is that Pittsburgh could indeed host a Super Bowl and have it go off without a hitch.
Do I now want it to happen? No, but it’s nice to know that my city is up for the challenge.