SBJ/Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013/NFL Stadium Experience

No longer biggest, but still good

Even as the Steelers’ play did little to excite the home crowd, the Heinz Field scoreboard was steadily working throughout the afternoon to keep fans up to date with everything happening in the stadium and around the league. The 28-by-96-foot board at the stadium’s south end was the largest in the NFL when Heinz Field opened in 2001, but since has been dwarfed by those of other facilities. It remains clear and visible, though, as the stadium itself feels quite intimate and ranks among the NFL’s smallest in seating capacity. Each play was shown live, and then replayed, ensuring there was no way to miss the action.

Split-screen was particularly welcome at the beginning of the game when Titans kick returner Darius Reynaud mistakenly brought the opening kickoff from the 1-yard line back into the end zone for a safety. As officials reviewed the play, tagged on the board as “NFL Under The Hood,” the replay was also shown to fans on the other half of the board.

Down periods and commercial breaks for TV presented a variety of video content. Pictures and messages posted to the Steelers’ Twitter handle, @steelers, were shown frequently during pregame, a straightforward social media integration now seen in many facilities. Fan birthday wishes and community service messages also received repeated mentions, particularly those for designated drivers (presented by stadium concessionaire Aramark). And some of the club’s own promotions, such as an offseason fan cruise, were frequently touted.

— Eric Fisher

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