Seats being constructed for the Winter Classic in the South Plaza.
The Pittsburgh Steelers alerted the Stadium Authority on Monday of a feasibility study currently underway regarding the possible expansion of the capacity of Heinz Field by 2,500-4,000 seats.
The Steelers presented this at Monday's meeting in conjunction with an evaluation of the future parking needs on the North Shore in light of all of the development already taking place there, as well as the down-the-road plan for the continued development of the area. In addition to Heinz Field and PNC Park, Stage AE recently opened as did a Hyatt Place Hotel, to go along with the previously opened office towers.
Because any expansion of the seating capacity of Heinz Field would bring more fans to football games and other events at the venue, the Steelers wanted to alert the Stadium Authority so that the parking needs of those additional people would be taken into consideration.
The additional seating would be located in the South Plaza of Heinz Field, and the team will be able to get a preview of how that might work because temporary stands have been built there for the NHL's Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
That additional seating will be left in place and used for any and all playoff games the Steelers could host this season. By defeating the Cleveland Browns this Sunday, the Steelers would win the AFC North Division and clinch a home game in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, to be held the weekend of Jan. 15-16.
The current seating capacity of Heinz Field is listed at 65,050, and the Steelers said it would be another year before a definite decision to expand is made. If the decision is made to go ahead with the expansion, construction could be expected to begin some time in 2012.