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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

Updated 4 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.