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 Cleveland Browns. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. and all gates will open at 6:30 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, which will be distributed by volunteers from 171st Air Refueling Wing 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, Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw concert tickets, Stage AE concert tickets, free concessions (Coca-Cola fountain drinks, Augustine's Stadium Pizza, SilverStar Super Hot Dogs) throughout the stadium, private tours of Heinz Field, Terrible Towels, 2012 Steelers Fan Blitz passes, and $10 of Steelers' merchandise at any Steelers' Sideline Store.
Fans are encouraged to stop by Stage AE prior to entering the stadium to participate in the Official Tailgate Zone of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tickets to Thursday's game will be given away along with many other prizes. Admission is free and the doors will open at 4 p.m.
As part of the NFL's Play 60 initiative, the Steelers will have local kids take part in the coin toss and National Anthem prior to Thursday's kickoff. The NFL's Play 60 initiative is an ongoing commitment to the health and wellness of the next generation and is designed to tackle childhood obesity by having youth be active for at least 60 minutes per day.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fan Cam will take place during kickoff and will give fans the chance to prove they were at Heinz Field for Thursday's matchup against the Browns. Fans are asked to be in their seats early before kickoff each and every home game, and at that time, an ultra-high-def, 5-billion pixel image will be shot on the field. This 360-degree virtual image will capture Heinz Field in its entirety, and it takes between 5-7 minutes to shoot. Fans will be able to "step inside" the image and look around Heinz Field for a frozen moment of time at kickoff. Follow the Steelers Official Facebook page to be notified when the image is available on Monday for tagging and sharing with friends on Facebook, email or twitter.
The Steelers are participating all season in the "Let's Tackle Recycling" campaign. At every Steelers home game, the Pennsylvania Resources Council 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 PRC and the Alcoa Foundation in partnership with Heinz Field, Alco Parking, City of Pittsburgh Environmental Services, Greenstar Recycling and the Sports & Exhibition Authority. Since the beginning of the 2011 regular season, Steelers fans have recycled more than 17,000 pounds of aluminum, glass, plastic and cardboard.
The following are additional highlights for fans for Thursday's game:
- Television and film star, Larry The Cable Guy, and Juliann Sheldon, the first Miss Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh in 25 years, along with 1st-IN-GOAL pre-game field pass winners, Post-Gazette Fan of the Game Linda Schoeffel and season-ticket holder David Rohalywill help lead this week's Terrible Towel Twirl.
- Glitz will be performing in the Coca-Cola Great Hall and Soul Shakers will be performing on the Main Concourse West prior to the game.
- World-renowned rock guitarist Gary Hoey will perform songs from his holiday CD on the field prior to kickoff.
- Pittsburgh's own Rusted Root will perform at halftime.
- Heinz and Giant Eagle will present a $10,000 check to the Extra Mile Foundation. A donation was made every time the Steelers scored in the Heinz Red Zone during all home games this year.
- Six local high school players, including Adam Bisnowaty (Fox Chapel), Demetrious Cox (Jeannette), Greg Garmon (Erie McDowell), Jesse James (South Allegheny), Deaysean Rippy (Sto-Rox) and Rushel Shell (Hopewell), will be recognized for being selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 3, 2012 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
- WDVEand theSteelers Radio Networkwill be live at Stage AE for their pre-game shows.
- Country music superstar, Chris Cagle, will sing Thursday's national anthem.
- In honor of the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy (ceremonial color guard from Navy recruiting district Pittsburgh) will present Thursday's colors.