The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the elite franchises in all of sports. With six Super Bowl Championships, the Black and Gold following is not just for the western part of Pennsylvania, but Steeler Nation which is all over the country. The Terrible Towel waving fans of Heinz Field are one of sport’s most passionate fan bases. They are rarely disappointed as their team always seems to be among the best teams in the NFL.
Some may feel as though Steelers fans are a bit spoiled as there have been some empty seats in recent seasons. But let’s not discount the fact that the Steelers tickets are among the most expensive in the NFL. With the economy being what it has been over the past few seasons and the fact that the team has been down a bit in recent years, this may have some fans feeling like they just cannot justify the expense. But that should not be any reflection on the Heinz Field game experience.
Graphic via floridaphotomatt
A Steelers game at Heinz is what the NFL is all about. Yellow towels wave as the team takes the field and they never seem to stop. This has been going on since the dynasty days of the 1970s when they waved the towels for Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene, and Jack Lambert. Speaking of those all-time great players, a visit to the Steelers Great Hall is a must for any football fan. It is almost a Hall of Fame in itself since a good percentage of Steeler greats are there too.
Some of the NFL’s Greatest Games have happened in Pittsburgh. The Immaculate Reception was in the old Three Rivers Stadium as well as countless other AFC Playoff and Championship Games. In the Hall you can relive some of those great games plus see a giant replica of the Lombardi Trophy on the concourse level.
The Steelers are owned by the Rooney Family and have been since their inception in the 1930s. They were a bottom feeder up until 1969 when they hired Chuck Noll to be the head coach. Since then they have had only three head coaches, all of who have won at least one Super Bowl. No other sports franchise can claim that kind of stability which bleeds over into the fan base, giving the Steelers a family type atmosphere.
Heinz Field is right on the Allegheny River, so if fans have a boat they can take that to the game and tailgate Tennessee Vols style. The neighborhood around Heinz Field is one of the best in any sport. Nearby are the stadiums of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins and Pitt Panthers basketball. PNC Park is the Pirates home and it too is one of the best looking ballparks in its sport.
The seats at Heinz Field are Steelers gold (which is yellow and you know Steelers and LSU fans). This gives the stadium an extra bright look before the fans file in or as they leave. The lower level seats are chairs with cup holders and arm rests and the upper levels are benches with backs like what they have in Buffalo.
The food choices are great. Burgers, pulled pork, bottomless popcorn, pretzels, sausages and beers of all kinds as well as Pepsi products. Many great choices here at a concourse level second to none. You might even find a live local band entertaining you while you eat and shop.
If you want to visit Heinz Field on a less crowded and perhaps less expensive day, the Pitt Panthers also call Heinz Field home. Since they are now part of the ACC, you could catch such traditional powerhouse programs as Clemson, Florida State, Miami or Virginia Tech.
But for the ultimate fan experience at Heinz Field, you will want to catch a Steelers game against either the Ravens, Bengals or Browns, their division opponents. These are some of the most intense, hard hitting football games the NFL has to offer.
Be careful if you go to a Steelers game wearing one of their opponent’s jerseys though. Steeler fans may not be on the same level as say the Philadelphia Eagles fans, but there have been reports of visiting fans being attacked for no other reason than rooting for the opponents.
But this should not deter you from going to check out a Steelers game at Heinz Field. Maybe go wearing Steelers gear just to be safe. You will have the time of your life.
Graphic via wikipedia