Steeler Nation - Today

Today

Since the 1970s, the Steelers have enjoyed a large fan base and have eclipsed the Pittsburgh Pirates as the most popular sports team in Pittsburgh. While the team's success gained it a large fan base nationally, many consider the collapse of the city's steel industry to have been a cause for the strong fan base in other cities, demonstrated when teams whose home turnout would otherwise require a local blackout on television end up selling out when hosting the Steelers. An instance of the team's large fan base was at Super Bowl XL, where an ESPN.com columnist suggested that Steelers fans outnumbered Seattle Seahawks fans more than 25 to 1.

In November 2007, a study by Turnkey Sports found that the Steelers brand was the strongest in its local market of any team in the NHL, NBA, MLB or NFL.

Many regional communities not officially associated with the "Pittsburgh" market have overwhelming numbers of Steeler fans who regularly flood local stations in both Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Erie, Pennsylvania with requests to show the technically "out of market" Steeler games.

Hines Ward victory on Dancing With The Stars, could be seen as a sign of the national reach of the Steeler's fan base as well.

In November 2007 NFL Films president and co-founder Steve Sabol speaking at the teams 75th anniversary gala at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center stated: "The Steelers don't need a mascot. Their fans are their mascot...There were Gerela's Gorillas, Franco's Italian Army, Lambert's Lunatics, people dressed up like a bumble bee. You don't need a mascot when you have fans like that. When we'd go to Pittsburgh to do the game for NFL Films we never brought enough cameras."

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