The Pittsburgh Steelers are encouraging fans to arrive early to enjoy the many activities surrounding game day at Heinz Field for Thursday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and all gates will open at 5 p.m.
The Steelers 1st-IN-GOAL promotion, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, will allow fans who enter Heinz Field early on game days the opportunity to win exclusive prizes from the team. The first 25,000 fans who enter the stadium will be given scratch-off cards at all gates as well as suite and club entrances. Fans will have the opportunity to win pre-game field passes and the chance to participate in the pre-game Terrible Towel Twirl on the Steelers' sideline just prior to kickoff, Steelers gift cards, Terrible Towels, one-night stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa, Stage AE concert tickets, Nike replica jersey, one month subscription to PG site, Redbox rental from Giant Eagle, Hunger Games DVD, Official 59Fifty football cap from New Era, Sport Clips haircuts, fountain drinks from Pepsi and GetGo, Augustine's pizzas, Silverstar Meats hot dogs, premium roast iced coffee and french fries from McDonald's, milkshakes from Eat'n Park, appetizers from Andora restaurant and Sabra products.
Fans are encouraged to stop by Stage AE prior to entering the stadium to participate in the Official Tailgate Zone of the Pittsburgh Steelers as many great prizes will be given away. Admission is free and the doors will open at 4 p.m. The Lava Game will perform prior to kickoff outside of Stage AE.
The Steelers are participating all season in the "Let's Tackle Recycling" campaign. At every Steelers home game, the Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA) and its partners are collecting aluminum cans, glass containers and plastic bottles and cups at tailgating parties in the parking lots outside of Heinz Field. The "Let's Tackle Recycling" campaign is sponsored by the SEA in partnership with Heinz Field, Alco Parking, Greenstar Recycling, Three Rivers Power Sweep and the PRC.
The following are additional highlights for fans for Thursday's game:
- 2012 Steelers Schedule Magnets will be given out by the Boy Scouts of America upon entering Heinz Field.
- As part of USA Football Month, the team will be recognizing youth football by having a Dick's Sporting Goods youth football game at halftime. The exhibition will feature the South Fayette Lions versus the Jeannette Hawks. Additionally, youth football players will form a tunnel for the player introductions prior to kickoff.
- The Coors Light Kickoff and Rib Festival will take place on Art Rooney Ave. Admission is free to the festival.
- The Muddy Creek Band will perform in the Great Hall prior to kickoff, while the Jimmy Adler Bandwill perform on the Main Concourse.
- The Pittsburgh Steelline Drum Line will perform on the field prior to kickoff.
- Rock band, Adelitas Way, will lead this week's Terrible Towel Twirl along with Steve Harrison (Johnstown, Pa.), who was the winner of this week's "My Pittsburgh Steelers" fan contest, and 1st-IN-GOAL pre-game field pass winners.
- Jenny and Ashley Cooke, a country duo, will sing Thursday's national anthem.
- WDVEand theSteelers Radio Networkwill be live at Stage AE for their pre-game shows.
- TheWest Mifflin Area High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard will present Thursday's colors.
- Contestants from the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Carnegie Mellon University and the Community College of Allegheny County will compete in a kicking contest at halftime for the right to present the United Way with their first donation of the 2012 campaign.