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Heinz Field Transforms Into "Gotham Stadium"

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Thousands of people were in the stands at Heinz Field Saturday for a very different kind of fan experience.

There were football players and lots of cheering, but no game was going on. Instead, it was the day of the much-publicized filming of a scene for the new "Batman" movie.

The crowd cheered wildly for the black and gold in a big showdown at Heinz Field.

The event was a homecoming for former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher who returned to the sidelines with Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger.

But they are not wearing Steelers uniforms. They were part of a fictitious team called the Gotham Rogues using Heinz Field, or "Gotham Stadium" for the day, as a backdrop for the filming of "The Dark Knight Rises."

KDKA's Bob Allen reports:

"It's kind of funny; it's black and gold, they're using the Steelers and everything. It's going to be weird on screen," said Matt Maranowski, who was hoping to catch a glimpse of the action from outside Heinz Field.

Some spectators could not get on the list to be one of the film's 10,000 extras. But that didn't stop them from standing outside the stadium.

"[I] just want to get in there and sit there and see the view because you can't see anything from here," said Batman fan, Michael Grabowski.

A week of filming at various locations in the city, and the Caped Crusader seems to be having a huge impact on Pittsburghers.

"I've always been a huge 'Batman' fan; and so, just to see how all this is going to work out in the movie, it's just kind of cool to see so much of the city in the movie and stuff," said Maranowski.

The Tumbler at Heinz Field
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Ian Smith)

For many extras, today was a test of survival in the heat. Till Juettener had two friends cheering in the stadium.

"Probably sitting there sweating a lot," said Juettener. "They're supposed to wear winter gear in yellow… excuse me, golden and black. He was very excited at first, then he heard he had to be there the entire day and he was not supposed to leave at all."

Juettner, who lives in Germany, says "The Dark Knight" is just as popular in his country.

"It will be seen in Germany, and as soon as it hits movie theaters, I'll be there to see it," he said.

NewsChopper 2 flies over Heinz Field:

Pittsburgh Film Office
Photo Gallery: Heinz Field Becomes "Gotham Stadium"
More "Batman" News

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