Riverhounds to build soccer stadium in Station Square
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In a move that could help professional soccer thrive in the Pittsburgh sports scene, the Riverhounds will open a new, 3,500-seat stadium late this summer in Station Square.
Riverhounds CEO Jason Kutney said the project will be funded by private investors.
The team will make the official announcement and release renderings of the new facility this morning.
The stadium will be located partly where the Trib Total Media Amphitheater sits and partly on the parking lot between the amphitheater and the Gateway Clipper. The amphitheater will be demolished or moved.
The agreement with Forest City Enterprises, which owns Station Square, was two years in the making. After focusing largely on youth development since acquiring the franchise rights in 2007, Kutney said the organization felt it was time to shift its focus to the professional aspect of the operation.
"(The Riverhounds) have always been professional in the sense that the players are paid and we charge an entrance fee, but they've never been professional in Pittsburgh's mind," Kutney said. "In our opinion, to be considered professional, it was integral to be Downtown."
The Pittsburgh Passion women's football team also has signed an agreement to play at the facility, and the Riverhounds are in talks with two local universities, two rugby clubs and a number of other groups, including youth and high school soccer and lacrosse teams.
The facility, which Kutney hopes will be ready to open in August, will include corporate suites and a bar and grill, and it also could host other events in addition to sports, including live music.
The Riverhounds have been playing at Chartiers Valley High School, where Kutney said they averaged about 1,500 fans last year. Prior to Chartiers Valley, the Riverhounds played at Consol Energy Park (formerly Falconi Field) in Washington, Pa., and also have called the Moon Area High School and Bethel Park High School stadiums home.
"This gives is an actual home to play," said coach Justin Evans, who was the first player drafted by the Riverhounds and has been with the organization on and off since 1999. "It's been a long time coming. It's a game-changer for the organization."
The Riverhounds were 7-11-6 last year and, for the first time in the franchise history, made the playoffs for the second straight season. They return 13 of 22 players for the upcoming season, which runs from April through August. They play in the United Soccer Leagues Pro Division, which is considered Division III and sits two steps below Major League Soccer in the sport's hierarchy in the U.S.
Kutney said the Riverhounds understand the market for soccer and would never set out to build a sprawling, 15,000-seat complex. But the team also doesn't consider moving to a large facility a daunting risk.
"This is the first time we're entering the market feeling like we can provide the amenities and resources for parents who want to come out and watch the games," he said. "It's a step toward developing a pro soccer culture in Pittsburgh."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ligonier Township police officer killed in crash; K-9 injured
- Starkey: Pirates’ trade of Snider still reeks
- Allegheny Health Network’s $600M plan to expand reach depends on Highmark
- 7 arrested in Greensburg street argument
- Police seek missing Marshall-Shadeland girl
- Accused Texas gunman was former target of FBI terror probe
- Pitt joins Giant Eagle, sets goal to put more disabled on payroll
- Pittsburgh Marathon runner remains in critical condition
- Pirates pitcher Cole climbing list with each consecutive win
- Former Charleroi Area, Elizabeth Forward soccer coach charged in drug sweep
- Police investigate possible explosive near New Kensington city hall