On Monday, AB Today reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers will have a new stadium name for the next 15 years, and since then fans have wasted little time trying to overturn what they believe is a bad decision on the part of the beloved franchise.
As reported by Sports Illustrated, only days after Steelers president Art Rooney II took the podium to introduce Michigan-based insurance brokerage Acrisure Stadium to the North Shore, fans established a petition at change.org to remove the name and find a better one. The initial goal was to reach 1,000 signatures. As of 9:45 this morning local time, it had garnered 1,626.
The petition was started by Daniel Sass, who says "anything" would be better than Acrisure Stadium.
"Heinz Field is the only sponsored stadium that the team has ever played in. Previously playing at Three Rivers Stadium, Pitt Stadium, and before that, Forbes Field," the petition reads. "But now the Heinz Field sponsorship is no more. It’s new name was just announced and it is HORRIBLE!!!!
"An out-of-state sponsor comes in and inflicts this name change on us that isn’t even easy to pronounce."
Fans who gave their reasoning for signing mentioned Acrisure being from Michigan and how many want it to remain Heinz Field.
In the last week, this trend has caught on, with plenty of fans and former players saying they'll continue to call it Heinz Field, and like all good campaigns, clothing in support of Heinz has loaded the production lines, according to Noah Strackbein of SI. T-shirt designs include wording such as "I Am Still Calling It Heinz Field" and "Heinz Field Forever."
H.J. Heinz & Co. signed a 20-year deal for the naming rights to the stadium back in 2001 for $57 million but declined to renew the partnership. The company assured Twitter followers Monday that it is not leaving Pittsburgh.