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The Steelers' first-ever game at Heinz Field on Oct. 7, 2001. Photo: Jason Cohn/Getty Images

Heinz is "highly unlikely" to renew its naming rights deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers once their current contract ends in 2021, Sports Business Journal reports.

Why it matters: Kraft Heinz signed a 20-year, $57 million naming rights deal in 2001 (the 57 number being a reference to the "Heinz 57" slogan). That means they pay roughly $2.85 million per year — well below market value.

  • Private lender SoFi is expected to pay roughly $400 million over 20 years to put its name on the new stadium that the Rams and Chargers will share in Inglewood, California.
  • Insurance company MetLife pays a similar annual price for the Giants and Jets' shared stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
  • Teams in similar markets to Pittsburgh are also bringing in far more money than the Steelers per year: Buffalo (New Era, $5 million), Cleveland (First Energy, $6 million), Nashville (Nissan, $6.5 million), Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz, $12 million).

The big picture: The Steelers' current stadium has been called Heinz Field since it opened in 2001, which means one of Pittsburgh's core landmarks could soon go by a different name for the first time in 20 years.

  • Fun fact: The Steelers played their first-ever game at Heinz Field on Oct. 7, 2001, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh won 16-7, with Jerome Bettis and Kordell Stewart leading the way (box score).

The bottom line: Amidst skyrocketing naming rights fees, Kraft Heinz has reportedly decided to throw in the terrible towel.

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.