Ben Roethlisberger is retired. Kevin Colbert will soon join him. But those aren’t the only big changes the Pittsburgh Steelers could experience this offseason. Their stadium could have a new name. Heinz’s deal with the team is in effect this year, leading many to speculate whether the Steelers will end up with a new sponsor and therefore a new name.
But in an interview with WPXI’s Jenna Harner, team president Art Rooney II said he was optimistic about their ability to retain Heinz Field. Harner tweeted a snippet of Rooney’s response.
Will Heinz Field be Heinz Field next season?
With the stadium’s naming rights, Steelers president Art Rooney II tells me he’s optimistic about keeping the name as is. pic.twitter.com/84YnNqX0Mx
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) February 24, 2022
“That’s something we obviously have conversations with Heinz about,” Rooney said in the clip. “I think we will soon know the answer. But I’m optimistic about keeping the name as it is.
The Steelers and Heinz originally had a 20-year naming rights deal when the stadium debuted in 2001. The two sides signed a one-year deal for the 2021 season which is now set to expire. It’s unclear when fans will find out if Heinz and the team will reach another agreement, but Rooney said news should come soon.
Teams changing sponsors and names have become commonplace in the sports world and have led to a few tidbits to be said. Places like Staples Center go to Crypto.com Arena (Lakers), Talking Stick Resort Arena (Suns) and Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox). Pittsburgh sports have been tied to sponsors but with names sticking out the tongue. PNC Park, Heinz Field, and even PPG Paints Arena aren’t the worst in the world.
The Steelers have seen very few stadium or name changes in their history. There was Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium (an all-time name, if you ask me) before Heinz Field was built. Losing the “Heinz” name would be another change for the 2022 season, but hopefully Rooney’s optimism rings true.
If the two parties fail to reach a new agreement, who could be the new sponsor? It’s impossible to predict but Pittsburgh is known for its medical field. Maybe UPMC is betting on naming rights. But ideally, Heinz Field remains for next year and many more to come.