Highmark Stadium hosting lengthy slate of high school soccer, football games
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pittsburgh's newest sports venue is about to transform into a high school haven.
Highmark Stadium, which previously was announced as the new home of the WPIAL soccer finals, has a slate of 21 varsity soccer games and three varsity football games lined up to keep the 3,500-seat park busy now that the home schedule is finished for its primary tenant, the Riverhounds.
The highlights of the schedule include the season-opening East-West Soccer Classic on Friday and Saturday and three of the four home football games for Central Catholic, including its Quad North matchup with defending state champion North Allegheny.
Quaker Valley boys soccer coach Gene Klein, who also serves as the Riverhounds' technical director, is happy that the East-West Classic will be played for the first time at a pro venue and with all admission free because of a sponsorship deal with First National Bank. The Quakers, along with Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair, are the western representatives in this year's classic.
“Our kids are really looking forward to it. We've been playing the East-West Classic for 20 years, and this takes it to a new level,” Klein said. “These are some of the top teams in the state, and I think they're all excited to play there.”
Fourteen other regular-season WPIAL soccer matchups, most of which will include JV and varsity games for the schools involved, will be held. Some of the proceeds from tickets sales to those matches will go back to the participating schools to add a fundraising element to the games.
Central Catholic will face Plum in the first of those games Sept. 3, but it's for the three home football games that the Vikings expect to see sellout crowds on the South Side.
“It's nice to have three of our four home games at Highmark. I think it's a real positive exchange for the stadium and for Central Catholic,” Vikings athletic director Chuck Crummie said.
“It's not on campus for us, but neither is Pitt's stadium. Time will tell if it becomes our regular home field, but discussions with the Riverhounds have been very positive.”
While football games will generate more revenue for the hosts than soccer games, that the new facility will be busy throughout the year is a perk for the teams involved and the stadium's management.
“The soccer is more of a fundraiser for the schools, while the football is a way to make money,” Crummie said. “The nice thing is that it will get more people to the stadium, and it might draw more fans that normally wouldn't go to a football game or a soccer game because they want to see the stadium. It's a pro facility, and it should generate interest.”
Perhaps the biggest thing for soccer fans is that, as the new home for the WPIAL soccer championships, Highmark Stadium gives local teams a destination similar to what football and basketball players look forward to.
“When high school football starts, the goal for all those kids is to get to Heinz Field,” Klein said.
“Having Highmark Stadium be willing to host the soccer championship gives a great incentive to soccer players to have that same goal of playing at a pro stadium.”
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.
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Defense shines in Pitt football spring game
- Western Pa. veterans get wheelchairs, mobility
- Lawsuit: Pittsburgh Public Schools should have known officer was abusing boys
- Butler players help Team Pittsburgh win Showcase title
- Step up in class no problem for Mars tennis team
- ‘Bride’ goes on at Geyer theater in Scottdale
- Penguins pushing to sell playoff tickets
- Mackey: For Pens’ Winnik, playing with Crosby an ongoing process
- Sex trafficking survivor to speak at Penn State Fayette
- Marte’s bat, Worley’s arm show improvement in Pirates win