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Heinz Field to live on in Aliquippa, hometown of 3 Pro Football Hall of Famers

A rendering of the new Heinz Field set to open in time for the launch of the 2023 high school football season.

By Mike Longo Jr.

When Heinz Field became Acrisure Stadium last year, voices filled with disbelief echoed throughout the North Shore of Pittsburgh and beyond. Steeler Nation was revved up and it wasn't a football Sunday.

Fans were outraged as the only name that was ever associated with the venue would be gone. Acrisure won the bidding rights to name the Steelers venue, thus Acrisure Stadium was born.

Steeler fans worldwide were left crushed and heartbroken, how could this have happened? Why did it happen? The answer, it's all about the almighty dollar.

The public outcry was so loud and lasted so long especially when the signs and Ketchup Bottles were removed. They felt betrayed and empty. Something had to be done to appease the masses, and it was.

Gate C at Acrisure Stadium is now known as the Heinz Gate, complete with ketchup bottle. The 22-year-old bottle was refurbished with a new coat of paint while it was off-display. Only one of the two legendary bottles was returned. I suppose something is better than nothing, however, most fans don't feel the same way.

A vast majority of fans still refuse to call it anything other than Heinz Field. I have some compensation for those fans, not particularly what you may have envisioned.

Allow me to offer you this, the Heinz Field name lives on!

The new Heinz Field will officially open at the start of the 2023 high school season.

Yes, it is a football venue. Though it will not have the black and gold gracing the playing surface the product on the field is a proven winner and will be clad in black and red.

It will not be on the North Shore of the city. The new location is on a hill atop the city of Aliquippa in Beaver County. So it's true, you can't keep a good man down. Perhaps in this case, you can’t keep a good ketchup down.

The decor will be a red arched sign at the main entrance complete with white Heinz Field lettering flanked by "Quips" in black letters on each side.

A Heinz Field banner will hang in the endzone.

Formerly known as Carl A. Ashmann Stadium, and nicknamed "The Pit," it was once the area's most dilapidated and deteriorated high school football venue. Recent decades of not making needed repairs due to lack of funds led to concrete that was crumbling as sections of the stands were condemned.

The playing surface of natural grass was in dire need of replacement.

Built in the 1930s, "The Pit" saw renovations over the last two years forcing last year's team to relocate. Playing its so-called "home games" across the river at Freedom High School. To become a reality, the school district secured $3.5 million in funding from both the private and public sectors.

The stands are new metal bleachers, the playing surface grass is turf. The lights towers and goalposts were also replaced and a new video scoreboard was added.

All this was made possible via a $250,000 dollar grant from the NFL Foundation and other donations.

Kraft-Heinz Company donated $1.3 Million Dollars for the naming rights and it will also help construct an Academic/Athletic Center adjacent to the newly renovated field.

The center will house offices, locker rooms, weight-training and therapy rooms along with a large collaborative creative space for hands-on learning. Community groups and residents will have access to the flexible space and weight rooms for programs and classes.

"Kraft Heinz's donation will help us further our legacies together and will impact Aliquippa, a deserving community for generations to come,” said Superintendent Phillip Wood.

Head Coach Mike Warfield reached out to Kraft-Heinz with a dream of creating a new Heinz Field. Kraft-Heinz was thrilled to support the effort.

"Kraft-Heinz is proud to call Pittsburgh its home as our co-headquarters and we are excited to bring Heinz Field back to the community in a new and meaningful way," said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, executive vice president and president of North America Kraft-Heinz. "We look forward to seeing Heinz Field live on as part of the Aliquippa community.

“The Pit” – one of Western Pennsylvania's most iconic, historic stadiums – was home to many great athletes. Those athletes went on to star in collegiate and NFL play. As such, the stadium grass saw many players cement their legacy on it.

Aliquippa High School is well represented in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With greatness achieved, this school produced Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, Ty Law and Darrelle Revis (recently inducted). It is the only high school in America to have three former athletes enshrined in "The Hall".

The year 2025 is targeted for the completion of the new Academic/Athletic Center. The Quips host Armstrong on Sept. 1 as the Heinz field name lives on.



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