Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
USL News Release
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL PRO announced today they will join forces with Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System to play a key role in the construction of a $7.5 million stadium to serve as a home field for the franchise. The stadium will be constructed in Station Square, Pittsburgh’s preeminent mixed-use entertainment complex, with a completion date set for summer 2012.
“This announcement is an exciting development for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and was made possible through a great deal of hard work by David Wilke, Jason Kutney and the rest of the Riverhounds organization,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “Teams playing in soccer-specific stadiums remains a critical component of the USL PRO business model. With Pittsburgh joining the Charleston Battery and Rochester Rhinos in this area and 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.
“We will also continue to target expansion markets with soccer-specific stadium prospects.”The stadium will operate year-round and host games and tournaments in soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, and softball for youth, high school, college and pro teams, but will only have permanent field markings for soccer. It will also maintain the location as an outdoor venue for concerts and community events to replace an outdoor amphitheater that has operated on the site for years.
Management of the stadium expects the facility to be a unique addition to the thriving sports venues currently established in Pittsburgh.
“Pittsburgh has a rich history in soccer that is oftentimes overlooked due to the lack of quality soccer facilities in the area and also the established market for American football in this City,” said Jason Kutney, part owner and member of the Riverhounds team. “This stadium creates a foundation upon which we plan to build a professional soccer culture in America’s most passionate sports city, and the Riverhounds organization is 100 percent committed to this mission.”
The stadium will seat approximately 3,500 individuals on the south and east sides of the field. The north side of the field will remain open to the bike trail running parallel to the river as well as the City, which will create a breathtaking backdrop for the main event.
“In terms of a location, we have been fortunate enough to finalize a deal that provides our stadium spectators with the very best views of downtown Pittsburgh,” said Kutney. “Mixed with an intimate seating arrangement that keeps the fans within an arm’s reach of players, this view, and the amenities of Station Square, will provide a stadium experience that is second-to-none.”
On the west end of the field, a three-level building will operate as the main entrance to the stadium. Visitor amenities such as the ticket box office, a fan store, and bar/grille will occupy the first level of the building. Team locker rooms and a glass enclosed training room will also be located on this level, allowing for fans to interact with players before the games.
Sixteen (16) corporate suites will be located on the second level with seating for approximately 12 guests in each suite. A private concession area will be located on this level, providing an elaborate menu exclusive to guests of the suites. A stadium conference center will be located on the second floor, in the northwest corner of the building. The conference area will be glass enclosed with an outdoor terrace, opening the room up to both the stadium and City views. The third level of the main building is slated to be a rooftop patio open to all guests.
The stadium is a privately funded project by local investors. In addition to the generosity of Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System, who will receive naming rights of the stadium, companies such as Trib Total Media, a local news and media company, and #1 Cochran, an automobile dealer, have made tremendous contributions to the project and will each be one of the select few companies whose names will embellish the stadium through sponsorship promotions.
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a member of the United Soccer Leagues since 1999, have played in a variety of venues since their inaugural season, including three high school athletic stadiums and a minor league baseball facility. The Riverhounds have been competing at Chartiers Valley High School Stadium since current ownership took control of the franchise in 2007. The Riverhounds plan to continue competing at Chartiers Valley until the stadium is open and operational.
The Riverhounds Academy, the Club’s highly successful youth training component, will utilize the stadium for a multitude of events, including training programs, friendly exhibitions, showcase combines, and tournaments. The Academy, with an enrollment of over 550 of the most talented youth soccer players in Western Pa, operates to advance the technical and tactical competence of local players so as to promote these individuals to their highest achievable levels in the game.
“Undoubtedly, we hope to mature many of our youth players to the professional level,” said Justin Evans, Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds First Team, “and that begins with creating the proper environment. Mixed with our indoor turf fields and state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility, this stadium completes the environment from a facilities standpoint. Youth players and Pro Players alike will enjoy top notch resources in Pittsburgh.”