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Former Heinz Field Ketchup Bottle Back on Display at History Center



Steelers Heinz Field Ketchup Bottle
The ketchup bottle from atop the Heinz Field scoreboard on the outside of the building at Heinz History Center. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The second of the two gigantic ketchup bottles that formerly adorned the top of the Heinz Field scoreboard is back on public display at the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District.

The bottles, which were removed after Heinz Field was renamed Acrisure Stadium in 2022, have been refurbished after their 21-year residency atop the south end zone scoreboard.

When the Steelers removed the legendary 35-foot condiment bottles, they said they wanted to find a way to display them, and they have. The first of the two bottles was returned to Acrisure Stadium on a wall outside Gate C in April.

The bottle at the history center is outside on the side of the building at the center, where fans can have their pictures taken with it.

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, has been operating continuously since 1879 and is the region’s oldest cultural or historical organization. Its current home, in a former warehouse in the Strip District was opened in 1996. The center added the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, which holds artifacts such as Franco Harris’ cleats from the Immaculate Reception. The history center is named after former Pennsylvania senator Henry John Heinz III, who died in 1991. He was the great-grandson of Heinz founder Henry J. Heinz.

The bottles were as synonymous with the Steelers as Heinz ketchup has been to Pittsburgh. They were installed as part of the stadium’s initial naming rights deal between the Steelers and Heinz, which began with the stadium’s opening in 2001 and was extended once before ending in 2021.

The H.J. Heinz Company was founded just up the Allegheny River in Sharpsburg, Pa., 1869, was purchased by venture capital groups Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital in 2013 and merged with Kraft Foods to form the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world in 2015. The company no longer manufactures any products in Pittsburgh, but it retains a headquarters at PPG Place downtown.

When the contract for the Steelers’ naming rights came up, the new company chose not to renew them. Michigan-based insurance and financial technology company Acrisure agreed to a $150 million deal over 15 years, significantly more than the $2.85 million that Heinz had been paying.