Bengals christen Heinz

10-7-01, 1:05 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

PITTSBURGH _ The 64,000 yellow seats that greeted the Bengals when they walked into the first game ever at Heinz Field Sunday were as subtle as the importance of Sunday's game.

The Bengals haven't been 2-0 in the AFC Central since 1995 and were trying to separate themselves from a Steelers' team that came in 0-1 in the division.

But the yellow seats ("Did they have a sale on seats?" asked one Bengal during pre-game) symbolized the emotion Cincinnati would have to weather from the Steelers in the stadium's first regular-season game.

A tale of the tape: Heinz Field has 64,440 seats, 129

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suites, 7,500 club seats, two club lounges with a total of 45,000 square feet all spread out over an enclosed area of 524,908 square feet.

Heinz is a smaller version of the Bengals' 65,350-seat Paul Brown Stadium, which has an enclosed area of 1.8 million square feet. PBS' club lounges are each about 30,000 square feet.

"This is the fourth stadium I've been to now in Pittsburgh and each one has its charms," said Bengals President Mike Brown as he surveyed the field during pregame. "Forbes Field, Pitt Stadium, Three Rivers and this is a beautiful place with a great view of the river and the city. The seats certainly make it memorable."

The Bengals came into the game relatively healthy. Backup free safety Darryl Williams, who missed last week's game with a sprained foot, dressed Sunday but the club was going to try not to use him.

Pittsburgh sack leader Jason Gildon turned his ankle in Friday's practice, but was expected to start.

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