Three Rivers Stadium
For over 30 years, the Three Rivers Stadium has been the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and quite fittingly so, if you consider that this stadium was actually located right along the banks of the Allegheny River! This stadium replaced a previous baseball field known as “Exposition Park,” which was home to the pirates during the last decade of the 1800s. It was time for a change, and by the early 1900s, the team was looking for a brand new home. They initially moved into Forbes Field, but this facility eventually became quite obsolete starting from the 1950s. It simply wasn’t the type of venue that could stand the test of time and give audiences a great experience. The venue fell in disrepair, and proposals were already in the air concerning the construction of a new stadium that would best cater to the Pirates and their audiences. It took a little while before ground was broken, but it finally happened in 1968. For the past 29 months, construction works continued until the stadium was finally inaugurated on July 16th, 1970. This is when the Pirates played their very first game there in their new home.Sadly, the first game was not a victory for the Pirates, who lost to the Cincinnati Reds (with a final score of 3-2) before 48,846 people in attendance! While the Pirates were always quite a popular team, they had a rather bad year in terms of attendance in 1985, with only about nine thousands attendees per game. Things turned around in the following years, and the team peaked in 1991 in terms of audience drag, with an average 25,498 spectators per game.
The stadium went on to become the home of the iconic 1971 World Series, and eventually hosted many other high profile events, such as the Immaculate Reception, which is by far one of the most famous plays in the history of American Football.
In addition to the Pirates, the stadium was also used by The Pitt Panthers, who played several games at the stadium throughout the years. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been using the venue as well, playing games there since the 70s. In addition to sporting events, Three Rivers Stadium was a fairly iconic concert venue. It famously hosted a Black Sabbath show, as well as concerts by artists such as Alice Cooper, Uriah Heep and Humble Pie, giving the stadium a good reputation in the rock music scene. However, the venue hosted a versatile selection of events, including the iconic Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, which brought to town big-name artists such as Stevie Wonder, as well as Charles Mingus and B.B. King, only to mention a few.
One of the most famous concerts ever held at the Three Rivers Stadium was the 1973 live performance by Led Zeppelin, which was actually filmed and released as a part of their live concert film, “The Song Remains the Same.”
Eventually, the stadium became obsolete, as multi-purpose venues fell out of favor with the audience and the teams. It was destroyed by implosion in 2001. The actually coordinates hosting the stadium were turned in a parking lot, serving the new nearby facilities. Curiously, the official website for the stadium had been kept alive for many years. Eventually, the website went off line in 2020, almost 20 years since the actual demolition of the stadium.