Steelers fans will be headed to Heinz Field on Sunday for the team's Family Fest, and they will notice some changes.
The team kicks off their preseason schedule on Friday, Aug. 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that is when the majority go into effect. One of the biggest ones will be noticeable before they even enter the Heinz Field.
This year fans with digital tickets will no longer be able to use a screenshot of their tickets, instead they must use the actual digital ticket because of Ticketmaster's secured digital ticketing. The tickets can be accessed through the Steelers official app and saved to their wallet on their phone.
"It makes things more secure," said Nick Sero, corporate communications manager for Heinz Field. "The code will be changing on the tickets frequently, so it cuts down on any fraud, even though we cut down to almost zero fraud last year. We are just taking this a step further."
Changes to the Steelers official app were also highlighted, including updating the game center and changes that can enhance the game day experience with Steelers Nation Unite and contests that can result in winning pre-game field access for games.
The team is also expanding the augmented reality in the Great Hall that allows fans to scan a QR code through the mobile app at the Super Bowl trophy columns and then displays game highlights on each column.
Another aspect for the app on game day will be predictive gaming, which allows fans to take part in contests where they can predict things throughout the game.
"There will be prizes for this," said Sero. "It's all part of the Steelers app and will be fun for the fans."
The biggest change, and saving the best for last, is fans in the viewing area will be able to stream games live through the mobile app.
Take a look at some of the new features and food options at Heinz Field during the 2019 season
From a building standpoint, new stadium lighting is now in place which allows the lights to go on immediately as opposed to slowly going on. The lights also have the ability to provide some entertainment factors which could come into play at night games.
"Fans will have a better, brighter view of the game," said Sero.
For fans who enter Heinz Field early and avoid the late rush, it will pay off. Not only will you get to enjoy pre-game warmups, but Aramark will be offering specials. At all Goal Line stands in the Great Hall and main concourse, you get a Smith's Hot Dog, a bag of chips and a 16oz fountain soft Drink for $8 or Heinz Field Nacho's and a 16oz fountain soda for $8.
The other highlight, and always a favorite, is the new food items at Heinz Field. And this is one any 'yinzer' will love. Kennywood's Potato Patch fries will now be available in the Great Hall, near section 106. In addition, locally based Wigle Whiskey will have a location in the Great Hall.
"It's great to have as much connection as we can to Pittsburgh here at Heinz Field," said Sero. "We are a proud fan base and a proud city. To support local businesses here is a win-win for everybody."
Another addition to the Great Hall will be a second Chickie & Pete's location, which will offer crab fries, cheesesteaks and chicken tenders.
Additional food choices will include the following:
Los Rios Bochas and Tacos – Ford Fan Zone - Section 151
o Pollo Bochas – Seasoned Chicken, Rice, Corn, Black Beans, Shredded Lettuce, Salsa Verdi, Shredded Cheddar, Queso Fresco, Black Olives, Jalapenos, Cilantro Sour Cream, Scallions
o Filete El Rio Bochas – Seasoned Sirloin, Rice, Corn, Black Beans, Shredded Lettuce, Diced Tomato, Pico de Gallo, Shredded Cheddar, Queso Fresco, Black Olives, Jalapenos, Cilantro Sour Cream, Scallions
o Jardin Quinoa Bochas – Tri Color Quinoa, Corn, Black Beans, Garbanzo Bean, Shredded Lettuce, Pico De Gallo, Queso Fresco, Black Olives, Jalapenos, Cilantro Sour Cream, Scallions
o Pollo Taco (3 each) – Seasoned Chicken, Shredded, Lettuce, Diced Tomato, Salsa Verde, cheddar cheese, Sriracha Mayo
o Filete Mucho Taco (3 each) – Seasoned Sirloin, shredded lettuce, Pico De Gallo, red onion, Queso Fresco cilantro sour cream
o Fresca Quinoa Taco (3 each) – Tri color Quinoa, Tomato, Spiced Garbanzo Beans, Queso fresco, black olives, cilantro cream
The Potato Patch: Signature Fresh Cut Fries (Kennywood Park) – Fed Ex Great Hall - Section 106
o Plain Fries
o Fries with Cheese sauce
o Fries with Gravy
o Bacon Cheddar Fries
o Tenders & Fries
Smallman St. Sandwich – Roasted Banana Peppers, Smith's Shaved Hot Sausage, Fried Eggplant, Marinara, and Whole Milk Mozzarella on a Toasted Kaiser Roll (Fed Ex Great Hall - Section 116)
Wigle Whiskey: Craft Whiskey Distillery (Pittsburgh) – Great Hall - Section 114
o Signature cocktails
NEW IN THE UPMC CLUB AND WEST CLUB
• California Turkey Burger – Guacamole, Mango Salsa, Garlic Aioli, Wheat Kaiser
• Porchetta Sandwich – Porchetta, Provolone Cheese, Roasted Broccolini, Oil Poached Tomatoes, Fresh Roll, Pork Jus