Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers Stadium
December 4, 2011
35 - 7 Win
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Opened: August 18, 2001
Capacity: 65,050 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $7.75
Stadium Parking: $35.00
100 Art Rooney Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Stadium Review - The Return to Heinz Field
I was in Pittsburgh to experience for myself the awe-inspiring Steeler Nation on my continuing Quest for 31. Emerging through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, as I piloted the Quest Machine toward the Steel City, I happened upon a magical valley that's nestled in the mountains of western Pennsylvania right where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers merge to form the Ohio River. Quite frankly, the city is very picturesque and not at all what you’d expect considering its steel-town roots. Over the last few decades, a revitalized Pittsburgh is slowly rising from the ashes of iron and steel. Long gone are the days of steel mills and factories, as a new generation of educated professionals flocks to the city. Through it all, Pittsburgh remains a city of die hard fans that welcome you with open arms especially if you're wearing black and yellow.
My ultimate Pittsburgh Steeler gameday experience began early on Sunday morning around 8:00am as the parking lots surrounding Heinz Field began to fill in with tailgaters. If you’re willing to wait until 10:00am, you can take the Gateway Clipper Fleet Ferry from Station Square across the river to the stadium. It's an incredibly unique way to kickoff your Pittsburgh Steelers gameday by parking in Station Square, but I prefer to get an earlier start. I booked a room at the Sheraton Station Square (excellent hotel, by the way) which is located directly next to the Gateway Clipper Fleet dock, so I decided instead to take the ferry back to the hotel at the end of the day.
Premiere Tailgating can be found in the Gold Lots, but to unearth some of the rarer tailgating gems that are part of Steeler Nation, one has to venture deeper into the Blue and Red lots which are located directly east of Heinz Field. My first stop was to the Mobile Tailgating Unit or MTU, a staple at Pittsburgh sporting events for the last twenty years. Rescued from a friend's back lot, this 1980's-era, retired ambulance was brought back to life and fully restored by John and his partner Rick. With sports team and city of Pittsburgh graphics covering the exterior, along with a set of chrome rims and a 20" flat screen, the MTU serves as an excellent centerpiece for this tailgating group of diehards. John and Rick play host to a group of about 50 Steeler Nation residents, serving up ice cold Miller Lite along with enough grilled meat and sides to feed an army. At 11:00am on gameday they bring in another Pittsburgh staple, pizza from Mineo's. Widely regarded as the best pizza in Pittsburgh, a slice of Mineo's is like a party in your mouth. I talked with Gary, who was on hand to represent Mineo's for game day. Between swills of beer, I uncovered the secret of this exceptional pie. In addition to fresh ingredients and a secret sauce, whose recipe is heavily guarded, Mineo's uses a blend of provolone cheeses instead of mozzarella to top off their masterpiece. Awesome Pizza!
My next stop was to meet up with the tailgaters at Lot Blue 7F. I met Dominic through SteelersFever.com and he was happy to invite myself and my daughter Anna to join their tailgating group for a full parking lot turkey dinner with all the trimmings. By the time we arrived, the tailgaters from Blue Lot 7F already had the tailgate in full swing. Debating the finer points of the Steelers offensive attack and their chances at an unprecedented 7th Super Bowl title, these diehards welcomed us to the banquet table to share in their feast. A deep fried turkey was just pulled out the fryer, and once accented with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet corn and cranberry sauce, I was ready to dig in with a tall Iron City Brew. At meeting time, which was signaled by Colleen, we gathered for a group shot before I left to continue my trek through the Parking lot.
Soon it was time to doubleback toward the stadium for gametime. For first time visitors to Heinz Field, it's important to make sure to enter the stadium early enough so you have plenty of time to walk through the Coca-Cola Walk of Fame. In the main concourse, along the East side of the stadium, Heinz Field boasts an impressive tribute that's dedicated to immortalizing each of the teams that won Pittsburgh's six Super bowl Titles. As fans enter the Walk of Fame, the floor is painted green with white yard lines to resemble a football field as six 20-foot tall Vince Lombardi trophies serve as display cases containing team photos and video along with the actual Super Bowl Championship trophy from each title win. Most teams hide their Super Bowl hardware at a team headquarters or practice facility, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have really hit the mark by allowing their fans access to pro football's most coveted prize. Continuing through the hall, located under a massive, tubular frame constructed Steelers helmet, rests a stage hosting local bands to play throughout the pregame. The Walk of Fame is a great pregame gathering spot and I was truly impressed by the lengths to which the Steelers organization has reached out to their fans providing a pregame experience without equal in the National Football League.
The division rival Cincinnati Bengals were in town for the weekend's contest and they were looking to find out how they measured up against the defending conference champs. As we approached our seats, the momentum of the Heinz Field gameday atmosphere was building as 65,000 fans prepared to swing their terrible towels. The Terrible Towel has been a mainstay for Steeler Nation as their implement of choice when looking to rally the team to victory and it remains an imposing home field advantage for the Steel City. If interested, we have a great source for custom made Terrible Towels (for weddings or other events).
The game itself was an awesome display of steel curtain dominance as the Pittsburgh Steelers dominated Cincinnati is every facet of the game. Their offense was firing on all cylinders, their defense wreaked havoc on the hapless Bengals and Special Teams rounded out the triumvirate with an equally impressive performance. By the time the scoreboard darkened to play "Renegade" by Stix with the traditional video montage of bone crushing hits, the game was well in hand. Steelers win 35 – 7.
For more information on the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins, Consol Energy Center - General Information
|City of Pittsburgh Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
Duquesne Incline (Station Square to Mount Washington)
Sandwich from Primanti Brothers
Primanti Bros. Sandwiches (grilled meat w/ coleslaw and fries on the sandwich)
Pierogis and Sauerkraut
Mineo's Pizza (Best Pizza in Pittsburgh)
What They're Drinkin':
Iron City, Penn Pilsner, Rolling Rock
Mobile Tailgating Unit (MTU) Tailgaters
Gold Lots next to Heinz Field
North Shore (Clark Bar, Grill 36-Jerome Bettis's Restaurant)
Pocket Map of Pittsburgh
Stadium Parking Map
Fan Forum: McMillen and Wife.com (Click on Message Board Tab)
Local Sports Media:
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
970AM ESPN Pittsburgh
North Shore (Finnigans's Wake, McFadden's Pittsburgh, Soho, Firewater's, McMullen's, The Clark Bar)
Strip District (Prive Ultra Lounge, Pure, Altar Bar)
Station Square (Buckhead Saloon, Matrix, Steel House)
South Side (St. James Place Tavern, Club Cafe, The Smiling Moose)
Station Square (Pittsburgh Rare, Grand Concourse, Gandy Dancer Saloon)
Strip District (Primanti Bros, Church Brew Works, DeLuca's Lidia's, Eleven)
Jerome Bettis's Grille 36 (American)
Point Brugge Cafe (European)
Fat Head's Saloon (American)
Getting to the Stadium:
Heinz Field is right downtown and it's well worth driving to the stadium to take in some prime time tailgating with some of the NFL's finest fans. There's plenty of game day parking all around the stadium. Other options include parking in one of the downtown lots and walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge (closed to vehicular traffic on game days), then taking the adjoining riverwalk directly to the stadium. The Gateway Clipper Ferry also runs a riverboat shuttle for fans who park in Station Square to take them to Heinz Field on gameday mornings.
Where To Stay:
Definitely plan on staying in the downtown area if you're going to Heinz Field for a Steelers game. There's lots to see and do. The Springhill Suites by Marriott is a great hotel that's centrally located and within walking distance to Heinz Field or stay in Station square and take the Gateway Clipper Ferry to the game in the morning.
Compare Prices for Pittsburgh Steeler
Football Tickets Here:
Click on the following links for Pittsburgh Steeler ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web. Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
Take a Stadium Tour of
Walk-Up tours – Groups of less than 10
No reservation required – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:00am. Meet under the Coca-cola Great Hall sign located on Art Rooney Avenue by 9:45am. During September and October –Mondays and Friday only.
Heinz Field Scheduled Tours – Groups of 10 or more
April through October, Monday through Friday, 9:00am through 2:00pm. Call 412-697-7150 and then press “5” to book a tour.
|Heinz Field Main Gate||Art Rooney Monument||Stoppin for a Beer|
|Mobile Tailagting Unit (MTU)||What's a "Yinz"?||Steeler Camo Pants Never Go Out of Style|
|Gary and I with a Slice of Mineo's Pizza||On the sidelines at Heinz Field||Awesome Seats!|
|With Steelers Mascot, Steely McBeam||Super Bowl XL in Detroit||Heading Home on the Gateway Clipper|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to
Heinz Field, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
AJ Thomas from Fargo,
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 11:52 PM
Will be in the Burgh in
late October...are there many scalpers outside the stadium on game day?
Internet prices look quite inflated at this time. Thanks!
Generally, you're going to find scalpers outside Heinz Field on gameday, but if I were you and I was flying in from North Dakota to watch my Steelers play, I'd be damn sure I had tickets in hand before heading down there ... but that's just me.
Waqqar Shaikhr from
owings mills, md
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:39 PM
I am coming down to
Pittsburgh, And would love to see the football stadium. Please tell me
what i can do, also things to do in the city, restuarants, bars, clubs.
Check out the section above labeled "City of Pittsburgh Local Information" for things to see and do.
Sent: Saturday, June 20, 2009
we are coming out to
heinz for our first game all the way from AZ in Dec! cant wait to
finally see our boys play! was wondering if anyone had a row seating
chart or knew how far back row B is on section 133? Thank you!
Hey Claudia, sounds like you've got some amazing seats. Prepare yourself for a high-energy crowd and some great tailgating in and around Heinz Field. I made it to AZ last year ... great place for a football game.
samuel sanchez from
Sent: Wed, May 13, 2009
|I'm going to the Burgh December 27, 2009. All the way from California. I need all the Steelers Love. Calli loves their six time Super Bowl Champions.|
Netanel from Buenos
Sent: Tue, January 27, 2009 7:34 am
i am a fan of the steelers .is my favourite team.my favourite player is troy
polamalu and ben roethlisberger
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