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The Sporting News ranks Heinz Field as NFL’s No. 5 best stadium | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

The Sporting News ranks Heinz Field as NFL’s No. 5 best stadium

Tim Benz
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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: A general view of the field during player introductions before the start of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings at Heinz Field on September 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Sporting news came out with its rankings for NFL stadiums. Heinz Field was No. 5.

For a long time, Heinz Field didn’t do well in these polls. It took a long time for management to get the grass right. So from a playing-surface and aesthetic point of view, the stadium built a bad reputation of looking lousy on TV and for being dangerous for the players.

Also, the open end allows noise to escape. So the building never gets that Roman Coliseum feel that Three Rivers Stadium used to have.

That’ll never change. But, no doubt, Heinz Field is 10 times the structure Three Rivers Stadium was, despite the old building’s constant sense that a prison riot was going to break out.

Which was cool in its own way.

Let’s face it though: We’re getting old. Some people covering the games now from a national perspective never did so at Three Rivers. It’s been gone 17 years already.

So that comparison of atmosphere to people outside of Pittsburgh doesn’t exist much anymore. And stacked up against many of the other new, sterile facilities in the league, in terms of crown engagement, Heinz Field is still pretty good. At least better, even if it’s not what it used to be when your grandpa was in Franco’s Italian Army.

Plus issues with the sod have dissipated over the years, and managing to fill up that open end without cutting into the skyline view very much has helped.

Writes author Vinnie Iyer: “It’s a beautiful open setting worthy of all the traditions of Black and Gold, down to the last Terrible Towel.”

Oh, that. And for whatever reason this guy seems to put a lot of stock in that fact that the Batman sequel was filmed here.

Whatever floats your boat, dude. Most people mention the ketchup bottles when they do these polls. This guy likes Batman instead. So be it.

He has Lambeau Field in Green Bay as the best building, so obviously nostalgia and charm are high on his list too, as opposed to modern bells and whistles.

He lists Fed Ex Field in Washington as the worst. I’m not a fan either. But there’s no way it is worse than Oakland or Hard Rock in Miami.

Plus, don’t the Chargers play in a soccer stadium?!

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