Pittsburgh Riverhounds Soccer Club Unveils Plans for New Stadium in Station Square
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012
PITTSBURGH, PA. (January 10, 2012) The Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced today the construction of a multi-sport stadium to serve as a home field for the United Soccer League (USL) professional soccer club. The Pittsburgh Passion Professional Women’s Football Team also intends to make the stadium its home field. The stadium will be constructed in Station Square, Pittsburgh’s preeminent mixed-use entertainment complex, with a completion date expected for summer 2012.
The stadium intends to operate year-round and host training programs, games and tournaments for soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, and softball. Stadium users will include youth, high school, college, adult, and professional athletes. The stadium management is also currently assessing plans to incorporate outdoor ice rinks in the winter for public skate hours and amateur hockey games, as well as the potential use of the stadium for concerts and music events.
“In an economy that is struggling, this stadium will have a tremendous impact on the community in more ways than just athletics,” said David Wilke, consultant of the Riverhounds. “It will create jobs and employ the services of some local businesses, which ultimately will help stimulate our local economy.”
“This announcement is an exciting development for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and was made possible through a great deal of hard work by the entire Riverhounds organization,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “With Pittsburgh joining other USL PRO clubs making significant progress on venue initiatives, we are well on our way to our goal of seeing all USL PRO teams playing in soccer-specific stadiums in the next 3-5 years.”
The stadium plans to be constructed on part of the former Trib Total Media Amphitheater site and a portion of the parking area to the east of that site. There are plans for additional parking to be developed to the west of the new event site.
“The ultimate goal of this project is to broker a positive change for young, aspiring athletes from Western Pennsylvania who are so often overlooked in the national sports scene,” said Jason Kutney, Riverhounds CEO and player.
Anticipating over 600,000 visitors per year, the stadium looks to reinforce Station Square’s position as a travel destination, bringing visitors to Pittsburgh from across the country.
"Pittsburgh is experiencing its Third Renaissance and every day it seems that there are more plans for attractions that will add to our City’s vibrancy," said Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "Pittsburgh is a sports town and there’s no doubt that this stadium will serve as a great asset for the Station Square destination corridor."
“We would like to thank the Riverhounds organization for all of their hard work in bringing this important project to Station Square,” said James LaRue, asset manager with Forest City Commercial Management, which developed, owns and manages Station Square. “The addition of the stadium will have a positive impact on downtown Pittsburgh, as well as on Station Square and its place as a destination for many years to come, and we welcome this opportunity.”
The stadium will seat approximately 3,500 on the south and east sides of the field. The north side of the field will remain open to welcome inward views from a refurbished Riverwalk Trail and outward views of the Pittsburgh skyline.
Pittsburgh-based research, strategy, and design firm, fathom; fathom completed an “insight journal” using data gathered during personal interviews with soccer fans, soccer families, soccer players, and business owners. The insight journal was used to create a stadium that would meet the visions of its user groups.
Architectural designs of the stadium were done by ThenDesign Architecture (TDA), an Ohio-based firm opening offices in Pittsburgh. Also involved in the stadium designs was Pittsburgh-based real estate developer and management company Millcraft Industries, Inc.
The estimated $7 million stadium is currently a privately financed project by local investors. Corporate support for this project is coming from Highmark, who will receive naming rights to the stadium, as well as Trib Total Media, and #1 Cochran.
Concession groups and the final sponsors are still in discussion, and will be announced shortly, along with the official name of the stadium.
About the Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Founded in 1999 as a member of the United Soccer Leagues’ A-League, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have brought elite soccer to Western Pennsylvania and are the only pro soccer team in the Tri-State Area. The Riverhounds recruit players from top programs around the country and the world. Since established, the Riverhounds have not had an official home field and have played at CONSOL Energy Stadium in Washington, Pa as well as a handful of local high schools around the area. In 2007, the team obtained new ownership and began to develop a presence in the area. During this same year, the Riverhounds brokered a relationship with Everton Football Club of England to create a developmental program for youth soccer players. The Riverhounds Academy has grown in participation, programming, and value and has proved to be a soccer Academy where young players are trained by the professionals. The growth of the Academy in the area has been a catalyst for the new stadium. During the fall of 2010, the Riverhounds joined the USL PRO Division created by the United Soccer Leagues. The division sits just below Major League Soccer and will serve as a stepping stone for players looking to jump to the next level.