It's a bold new day in Western Pennsylvania, thanks to a recent decision by the Pittsburgh Steelers. As the team begins the task of trying to figure out the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, the legendary quarterback having officially retired this offseason, they'll do so by also waving goodbye to Heinz Field -- or rather the name itself. Having entered a 15-year naming rights agreement in July to change the field name to Acrisure Stadium, they've drawn the ire of fans and players alike, including Roethlisberger himself.
The two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback took to Twitter to voice his displeasure regarding the move, and he was unequivocal in his unwillingness to embrace any stadium name other than the one he built his 18-year NFL career on, one that might land him in the Hall of Fame one day.
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.#ForeverHeinz— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) July 11, 2022
(Thanks to @ThompsonFoto12 & @YinzerSzn for the great photos!) pic.twitter.com/BnYTDp9zEp
"I can't believe it," Roethlisberger said. "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!"
What likely stings a bit more is the fact that Heinz is headquartered in Pittsburgh and, as such, made it a perfect marriage for the Steelers from both a corporate and optics front. Additionally, Heinz Field, in both name and standing, has long been a staple of the NFL and it'll take some time to get used to calling the home of the Steelers by a new moniker. But, for his part, Roethlisberger won't ever acknowledge the new name -- instead referring to it as the only thing he's ever known it as.
He's going to stick to calling it Heinz Field, but the Steelers won't.