For the past two decades, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Heinz Field have been like one. It became one of the most iconic stadiums in the NFL, hosting one of the loudest, most popular fan bases in all sports.
But all things eventually come to an end, especially when there's money involved. Heinz didn't want to pay up to renew the naming rights contract, thus leading to it becoming Acrisure Stadium for at least the next 15 years.
Needless to say, the news didn't sit well with most Steelers fans. That includes recently retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who took to social media to claim that it'll always be Heinz Field for him.
NFL News: Ben Roethlisberger Says It'll Always Be Heinz Field To Him
"I can't believe it, it doesn't seem right or real! Home will always be Heinz Field! I will never forget the last game, and all the amazing fans at FOREVER HEINZ! -- Ben," the former Super Bowl champion tweeted.
Heinz 'Can't Justify' Spending That Much In Naming Rights
Heinz originally paid $57 million for a 20-year deal. That's significantly less than the $20 million SoFi pays the Los Angeles Rams per year or even the $10 million Acrisure will give them starting this season. Per Heinz, they just 'couldn't justify' spending that much:
“While we worked diligently with the Steelers for several months around a new naming rights deal, they found a new partner willing to pay significantly more than we could justify,” the company said in a statement.
“Pittsburgh is the city where H.J. Heinz was born and where he launched what is now an iconic, global brand. The Steelers are a legendary franchise, and together with Heinz are a winning combination that represent some of the best of Pittsburgh," the statement continued. "While our name will no longer be on the stadium, Heinz will remain a significant, long-term sponsor of the Steelers and we’re excited to announce the details of our new partnership in the days ahead. Kraft Heinz is committed to its ongoing support of the Steelers and the Pittsburgh community, in a city that is our co-headquarters."
At the end of the day, the stadium will stay pretty much the same. All the memories will still be there, the grass will be there, the goalposts will be there, and so will the bleachers. But it'll take a while before we get used to this new name.