ShareThis Page
News Columnists

Memories made stadium special

| Friday, Feb. 9, 2001

It wasn't around all that long, relatively speaking, and it had few if any distinguishing characteristics from an architectural standpoint. Still, it quickly became a special and historic place.

If there's anything to lament as Three Rivers Stadium sits poised to be blasted into history, it is that in the end, none of that mattered.

Oh, it's understandable enough, this untimely demise. Much more legendary venues than Three Rivers have preceded the former home of the Pirates and Steelers into rumble. If time can pass by the fabled likes of the Montreal Forum, Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium, Tiger Stadium, etc., it certainly can deem one of the 1970s' original cookie-cutters as obsolete as bell-bottomed blue jeans.

The troubling aspect of that is the dynamics involved with the Pirates' and Steelers' push for new facilities.

The Implosion of
Three Rivers Stadium
A press of a button will ignite the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium . Nearly a ton of dynamite will go off, in a series of blasts that will knock out the steel and concrete supports, causing the nearly 31-year-old stadium to collapse.

Implosion is a demolition technique used to cause a structure to collapse. The Three Rivers implosion will involve many small blasts rather than one large explosion. Non-electric, time-delay detonating cords will initiate the dynamite blasting caps to cause the stadium to fall.

For an in-depth look at how the implosion will work, plus a look at key points in Stadium History, download this PDF file .

Get Adobe Acrobat

You will need the Adobe Acrobat reader to view this file.

Download the free reader here .

It's all about cash flow, revenue streams and finding ways to maximize earning potential in order to keep up with everyone else and remain competitive. It's all about big business and big money.

Anyone else find that increasingly distasteful at times such as this•

It probably always has been that way with sports, at least for the owners, but long ago they weren't nearly as up front about it. Now, they have no compulsion whatsoever, no shame, about insisting they need this, that or the other thing in order to continue paying what have become astronomical salaries that in many respects the owners themselves are to blame for. The players earning those salaries, meanwhile, have in many instances been content to keep grabbing with both hands, even when their pockets are stuffed full. How much is enough• One dollar more than the next guy is getting. Not a penny less.

Once upon a time, these games were about the games, weren't they•

That, at least, was the innocent perception we could stubbornly cling to and take with us to the ballpark.

Now, acknowledging the cost of running a business in the sports world is unavoidable. The economics of the games have truly taken center stage, to the extent that better stages are an absolute necessity.

It's the memories, after all, that help to make a stadium special, as much if not more than what takes place there. And for me, a lifetime of memories (so far, at least) is about to be imploded.

If you're my age or thereabouts (39 and holding), you know what I'm talking about. Three Rivers was a place I grew to love because the teams I followed consistently won there. Three Rivers was a place I grew to love because it was a place I grew up in, just as they did.

As a kid, Three Rivers was the end of the rainbow; an adventure conducted nine innings or four quarters at a time. As an adult, Three Rivers has been a destination point for so much more than the mere carrying out of yet another newspaper assignment.

It was where my father took me to games when I was young.

It was where I took my father to games when he got old.

Those memories will endure after the implosion, but they'll be just a little bit harder to conjure up once the dust settles.

Mike Prisuta is a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

See These Related Stories

End of an era nears for stadium Three Rivers will be reduced to rubble in 19 seconds. In its place two new North Side sports venues are being constructed. In the stadium's waning days, Pittsburghers and former players looked back fondly on the landmark, beloved for the champions who played there and derided for its bland, cookie-cutter appearance.

Debris should cause few problems Demolition experts love wide open spaces. With few buildings located near Three Rivers Stadium, engineers may let some debris fly from the blast.

Graphic: Best sight lines Ten good spots to watch the Three Rivers Stadium Implosion. (136kb)

Coming Monday
A special four-page section commemorating the Three Rivers Stadium implosion. Also, look for an opportunity to purchase a special limited-edition photo of the implosion from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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.

click me