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By Steve Iacoboni
PITTSBURGH, Pa — To honor the Pittsburgh Steelers in winning the 2008-2009 Super Bowl, Heinz Field had Chris Suchko, install a gigantic replica of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, making it the sixth and largest trophy displayed in the Steelers’ Hall of Fame.
The larger than life tribute of the Vince Lombardi Trophy which was installed Aug. 11, 2009 replicates the winning of Super Bowl XLIII in February against the Arizona Cardinals. The Lombardi is presented to the winning team’s owner on the field following the game. Previously, it was presented inside the winning team’s locker room. The trophy is valued at $25,000 and depicts a regulation-size football kicking position that is made entirely of sterling silver. The trophy is on display for fans to enjoy, along with all the other super bowl memorabilia in Heinz Field.
Contemporary Design of West Newton, which is located along the Youghiogheny River in Westmoreland County, teamed up with the Steelers dating back to 2000. Suchko is the owner and also a graduate of Penn State University.
When the stadium was built Suchko put a bid in for the design work for the Steelers’ Hall of Fame. Contemporary Design, hand crafted and custom built nearly all of the Steelers’ memorabilia in the Great Coca-Cola Hall of Fame at Heinz Field. When asked what kind of money this brings in for his business, Suchko said, “I have lots of fun hobbies,” which includes racing his Porsche that is displayed in the work shop. Contemporary Design had ten of its most skilled craftsmen working on the replica that took 16 weeks to complete. The replica is made of mostly steel and weighing nearly 3000 pounds. Suchko knew he would get the work as soon as the Steelers’ won in the final moments of the game.
“It’s a lot of tough work from a group of highly skilled employees ,” Suchko said. “My crew spent countless hours from design work to actually constructing the final project. Everything is custom built, and I estimated around 1000 man hours until we completed the project.”
The replica currently stands nearly 26 feet tall and represents a helmet crashing through the ceiling with a 30 foot in diameter arch creating a canopy effect painted in gold with the tri colored hypercycloids, what are referred to the diamond stars located on the Steelers logo.
When asked what it takes to work for a team like the Steelers, Suchko responded, “It’s a great privilege. I have been a Steelers’ fan all my life.” “It takes being on time and meeting their budgets, and making sure I meet their expectations or exceed them.”
When the trophy was in the final stages of completion, Suchko finished the final construction in its new home at Heinz field. While working on the project at Heinz field, Suchko crew was able to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “It was a great honor to meet coach Tomlin, I thanked him for winning and told him as long as they keep winning I should have no problem staying in business.”
No team has more Lombardi trophies than the Steelers.