The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.
In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where Pittsburgh were the oldest team to never win a championship, the Steelers are one of the most successful NFL franchises of the modern era. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (six), won more AFC Championship Games (eight), and played in (fifteen) and hosted more (eleven) conference championship games than any other NFL team. The Steelers share the record for most Super Bowl appearances with the Dallas Cowboys (eight). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.
The Steelers were founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, by Art Rooney, taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. The current owner is Art's son, Dan Rooney, who has given much control of the franchise to his son Art Rooney II. Long one of the NFL's flagship teams, the Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.
Heinz Field is a stadium located in the North Shore neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It primarily serves as the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers American football teams, members of the National Football League (NFL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) respectively. The stadium opened in 2001, after the controlled implosion of the teams' previous stadium, Three Rivers Stadium. The stadium is named for the locally-based H. J. Heinz Company, which purchased the naming rights in 2001. It hosted the 2011 NHL Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals on January 1, 2011.
Funded in conjunction with PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the $281 million ($374.3 million today) stadium stands along the Ohio River, on the Northside of Pittsburgh in the North Shore neighborhood. The stadium was designed with the city of Pittsburgh's history of steel production in mind, which led to the inclusion of 12,000 tons of steel into the design. Ground for the stadium was broken in June 1999 and the first football game was hosted in September 2001. The stadium's natural grass surface has been criticized throughout its history, but Steelers ownership has kept the grass after lobbying from players and coaches. Attendance for the 65,500 seat stadium has sold out for every Steelers home game, a streak which dates back to 1972 (a year before local telecasts of home games were permitted in the NFL). A collection of memorabilia from the Steelers and Panthers of the past can be found in the Great Hall.