Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Three Rivers Stadium
Three Rivers played home to Pittsburgh's Pirates and Steelers as well as to concerts, monster truck rallies, professional wrestling shows, Billy Graham revivals, and other types of events. In all, Three Rivers Stadium hosted over 5,000 events in its 30 years of existence, but it was seen as an outdated facility by the turn of the 21st century.
The stadium's design was almost circular in nature, attempting to facilitate use by the Pirates and Steelers with equal accommodation. Unfortunately, as was the case with other cities in which this so-called "cookie cutter" approach was employed (Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cincinnati), the fundamental shapes of the playing fields made the stadium inadequate to the needs of either sport. The upper deck was very high, making for steep climbs by event attendees and adding to its cavernous feel. By the 1990s, the use of multiple low-bid contractors in its construction began to show, as parts of the concrete began to turn differing shades of brown.
Never a facility greatly enjoyed by its attendees, Three Rivers Stadium was imploded to cheers and applause on February 11, 2001. The Pirates moved into a baseball-specific facility, PNC Park, situated farther east on the north bank of the Allegheny River. The Steelers later that year moved into Heinz Field, a facility built less than 50 feet from where Three Rivers stood. During the implosion, special precautions were taken to prevent damage to the still under construction Heinz Field.
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