Ben Roethlisberger sounds off on the name change of Heinz Field


Following Monday’s decision by the Pittsburgh Steelers to rename Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium, social media disapproval poured in from all areas.

The most prominent person to tweet a figurative thumbs-down was former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — the most accomplished player to ever call that his home workplace.

I agree with Roethlisberger, many other Steelers fans and media members on this. The name is atrocious, antiseptic and devoid of any legitimate connection to Pittsburgh. I would prefer the stadium to keep its original name as well.

But we do need to keep a few things in perspective.

First, the building will not be demolished. Roethlisberger’s tweet and some of the fanbase’s response make it look like Heinz Field is being demolished, not renamed.

I heard far too many callers to sports talk radio yesterday suggest that the name on the tent will somehow affect the mood in the seats.

That’s stupid.

You could literally call the building “Insert Name Here Field” and if a Steelers defender returns a pick-6 in the AFC Championship like Troy Polamalu did, the structure will still erupt, sway and shake like it did that night.


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Similarly, you can call the facility “Fred Rogers Field at Rooney Stadium in the Primanti’s Sports Complex” and the atmosphere starts to stink when the Steelers are left 28-0 in the first quarter of a playoff game against the Browns.

Not that Roethlisberger would know anything about that.

If the name on the outside of the stadium affects your enthusiasm as a fan once the ball is kicked off, you’re not much of a fan.

And if one’s mind is distracted enough to wander to that level of rationalization during the game, the product on the field may not be good.

And, Ben, come on. A little self-awareness, okay? You just retired after making $267 million from the Rooney family. And you doubt the property to make money?

Irony, your name is Roethlisberger.

I mean, someone has to make sure there’s enough on the payroll for TJ Watts paycheck to be wiped out.

Maybe in another 20 years Roethlisberger can buy the naming rights himself and turn them back into “Heinz Field at Big Ben Stadium.” Giant bells can replace the ketchup bottles and ring seven times after a Steelers touchdown.

Speaking of which, what will become of those ketchup bottles anyway? Are they auctioned? Does Heinz Field still sponsor the red zone?

If that happens, I’ll be much more concerned about who’s Roethlisberger’s replacement is below center and what the scoreboard in the stadium indicates.

Not the name on the outside.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter† All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise noted.

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