Name Heinz Field
Surface Kentucky bluegrass
Owner City of Pittsburgh
Steelers (NFL) 2001-2021
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After discussions over the Pirates building a full-time baseball park, a proposal was made to renovate Three Rivers Stadium into a full-time football facility. Although it was met with negative reaction from Steelers ownership, the proposal was used as a "fallback position" that would be used if discussions for a new stadium failed. Steelers ownership stated that failing to build a new stadium would hurt the franchise's chances of signing players who might sign with other teams, such as the other three in the Steelers division, who had all recently built new football-only stadiums. In June 2001, the H. J. Heinz Company purchased the naming rights to the stadium. Per the deal, Heinz will pay the Steelers a total of $57 million through 2021, the "57" being an intentional reference to Heinz 57. Despite Heinz later announcing its acquisition of Kraft Foods Group to form Kraft Heinz Company in 2015, the stadium's name was retained.
Originally, a sales tax increase was proposed to fund three projects: Heinz Field, PNC Park, and an expansion of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. After the rejection of this proposal in a 1997 referendum known as the "Regional Renaissance Initiative", the city developed the alternate funding proposal Plan B. Similarly controversial, the proposal was labeled Scam B by opponents. The Steelers' pledge toward the new stadium was criticized for being too little, even after it was raised from $50 million to $76.5 million. Other local government members criticized the $281 million of public money allocated for Plan B. One member of the Allegheny Regional Asset District board called the use of tax dollars "corporate welfare". The plan, totaling $809 million, was approved by the Allegheny Regional Asset District board on July 9, 1998, with $233 million allotted for Heinz Field. Shortly after Plan B was approved, the Steelers made a deal with Pittsburgh city officials to stay in the city until at least 2031. The total cost of Heinz Field was $281 million.