You won't see Jim Sacco
running deep on Sunday, but that doesn't mean he
isn't a crucial part of the Steelers' offense.
keeps the fans energized and Heinz stadium ready for any event.
Like most kids, Jim Sacco
grew up on a ball field.
Unlike most kids, however, he
"My dad was an usher at Forbes Field [home of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1909 to 1971]," recalls Sacco
"I grew up spending weekends at the ballpark.
everyone worked two jobs, and being an usher was my dad's second job.
It was how he
supported my mom, sister, and I. It's ironic that I'd grow up and make it my career."
Sacco is the executive director of stadium management for Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh's Panthers.
He oversees day-to-day operations and development for the stadium, including food service, maintenance, security, and event staffing.
"I'm in charge of everything that takes place here," Sacco
start in the early 1970s at Civic Arena, the former home of the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL hockey team, working in security for concerts.
Nicknamed "The Igloo," the Civic Arena was the first major sports arena in the world to have a retractable roof.
"I loved it," says Sacco
"It was always my goal to be involved with a major facility and a major organization.
I started out entry level, and my dream was to someday run a building."
In 1990, Sacco
moved to Three Rivers Stadium, former home of the Pittsburgh Steelers
and the Pittsburgh Pirates, the city's Major League Baseball franchise.
He moved to Heinz Field in 2001 and became the executive director.
"I've been in venue management for way too long," Sacco
says with a chuckle.
"And I've been around three great organizations.
I love sports and I'm fortunate to have been associated with great teams."
A hometown boy, Sacco was born and raised in Pittsburgh.
has always rooted for Pittsburgh teams and has been glad to remain loyal.
"Most people's goal is to get back home," he
"You never know what you're up for," Sacco
Even with all of the components, Sacco
main focus is on the fans.
"Whether the event is a sporting event or a concert, everything we offer and everything we do has to be fan friendly," he
"From the moment they enter the parking lot until the moment they leave, we have to provide the highest quality of service, and the highest level of entertainment."
That includes keeping up with the latest technology.
"The buildings and venues keep changing," Sacco
"People don't come for a hot dog now," says Sacco
"They want a variety of food to choose from, and we provide them with what they're looking for."
While there still are hot dogs for sale, fans can also snack on fish and chips, fresh-cut garlic fries, cheesesteak sandwiches, chicken wings, and freshly carved roast beef.
Gluten free and vegetarian foods are also available, and new offerings for the 2012-13 season include Pub 33, which offers microbrews, and Hickory Bridge BBQ Co.
Even with all of these upgrades and options, Sacco
says fans themselves haven't changed.
"A fan is always a fan," he
"It was nothing short of incredible," says Sacco
of the experience.
"To put together and produce and operate an event of this magnitude was unbelievable.
I think I'm most fond of this event because it brought me back to the days I started at Civic Arena."
Sports Illustrated magazine ranks Heinz Field
second on its list of best NFL Stadiums,
based on a survey of fans.
has done well in this field because he
loves all the events, regardless of type.
"Entertainment, sports, concerts, truck pulls-I like everything," he