No more ‘Heinz Field’? New name suggestions abound on social media
Heinz Field’s days may be numbered — at least as fans know it.
Stalled talks over a contract renewal have prompted industry observers to speculate that Kraft Heinz Co. probably will not seek to retain the naming rights to the home of the Steelers beyond 2021, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal reported Monday.
Terry Lefton, described as a “sponsorship industry insider,” said it’s “highly unlikely” that Kraft Heinz will renew the contract two seasons from now — “paving the way to a new name for the first time in (the) stadium’s history,” Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal said.
Could @Steelers fans see a new name on their stadium in the near future? Sources say @KraftHeinzCo is not expected to keep the company name on @heinzfield (no longer has a Pittsburgh HQ). Current naming-rights deal runs through 2021 https://t.co/FW131UN5C1 $ pic.twitter.com/QTduJuwUuu
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) July 29, 2019
The lack of interest in renewing the naming rights stems partly from the fact that Heinz no longer is headquartered in the Pittsburgh region, according to the Sports Business Journal.
H.J. Heinz Co. and Chicago-based Kraft merged in summer 2015, forming the world’s fifth-largest food and beverage company.
Meanwhile, the company is confronting mounting financial challenges, including its stock taking a 35% plunge earlier this year. Just last month, a financial securities analyst suggested that Kraft Heinz Co. could run out of cash by 2020.
Officials from Kraft Heinz Co. have said nothing has been finalized and the possibility of Heinz staying around remains “on the table,” the Sports Business Journal reports.
Heinz has owned the rights since the stadium’s construction on Pittsburgh’s North Shore in 2001.
There’s no official word on potential contenders vying to replace Heinz as the stadium’s primary sponsor — but that hasn’t stopped speculators from flooding social media with suggestions.
Among ideas floated in one lively Reddit discussion about the possible name change: Iron City Stadium, Eat’n Park Field, Mister Rogers Neighborfield, Jeff Goldblumfield and Shenderovich, Shenderovich, and Fishman Stadium — referring to a local law firm with a catchy radio ad.
I was thinking Primanti Brothers Stadium.
Or Stiedle and Steinberg Field…..
— Da Estee-Mater (@da_mater) July 30, 2019
Due to the change in market for naming rights deals, Heinz is not likely to renew its naming rights to Heinz Field after 2021.
UPMC, U.S. Steel, Alcoa, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and WESCO International are among the companies who may be interested in bidding on the rights. pic.twitter.com/CO1mAEjt2i
— Steel Faithful (@Steel_Faithful) July 29, 2019
Several suggested an option that could preserve the stadium’s use of ketchup bottles to signal when players get within 20 yards of the goal line — Hunt’s Field.
Three Rivers Field also was a popular mention, paying homage to the former home of the Steelers and Pirates.
Nonprofit health giants UPMC and Highmark also emerged as possibilities.
If you're Hunts Ketchup… how do you not buy Heinz field sponsorship
— Shawn (@shawn27mccall) July 30, 2019
UPMC and Highmark will each get half of the naming rights to Heinz field and you won't be allowed to visit the Highmark side if you have UPMC tickets. #ThePittsburghInsuranceWay
— burghbaby (@burghbaby) July 30, 2019
I wonder who step up with the cash maybe just go back to three rivers
— Eugene Mannarino (@steelmann58) July 30, 2019
@POTUS if KraftHeinz doesn't renew Heinz Field name, please purchase naming rights! You breathed new life into steel industry & you fight for all Americans just like founder Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It would be an honor attending games at "Trump Field"! #Winning
— Michelle White (@SteelersFanMich) July 30, 2019
Many fans lamented the notion of any name change. One posted a photo of an arm tattoo prominently featuring “Heinz Field.”
Me too pic.twitter.com/nlTllHeAMh
— J.Rose (@SteelRose75) July 29, 2019
Some asserted they would continue to call the stadium Heinz Field regardless of the new official moniker — akin to the way many from the region continue to refer to the KeyBank Pavilion concert venue in Burgettstown as StarLake Amphitheater, its name many years ago.
Nothing could be worse than going from Consol Energy Center to PPG Paints Arena. Maybe renaming Heinz Field won't be so bad.
I hope this tweet ages well.
It probably will not.
— Becky Carrier (@woahitsbecky) July 30, 2019
So Heinz’s Feild will end up like KeyBank Pavilion…everyone will still call it Heinz Field no matter the name just like we all still say Star Lake Amphitheater. Why? Because we are Pittsburgh and still give directions like “make a left at the Kuhn’s”
— Amanda 👑🦄🍕🌃🎉 (@alnarcisi) July 30, 2019
Heinz Field at sunset and it's 85.6 F pic.twitter.com/WvofhQ7z3i
— Heinz Field WxSTEM (@HeinzFieldWx) July 30, 2019
Have a suggestion? Leave your input on a possible new name for the home of the Steelers in the comment section below.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .