Getty: Al Bello / Staff

Three Rivers Stadium Has Been Gone 18 Years But The Memories Stay

Three Rivers was where I learned to be a Pittsburgh sports fan

Andrew Limberg
February 11, 2019 - 2:51 pm

February 11, 2001 was the end of an era for Pittsburgh sports. Three Rivers Stadium, the longtime home of both the Pirates and Steelers, came down during an early morning implosion to make way for PNC Park and Heinz Field.

The demolition aired live on local television and in true Pittsburgh fashion, fireworks were set off after, because an implosion isn’t enough right?

PNC Park is considered one of (if not the best) ballpark in America and Heinz Field’s natural grass surface makes football more entertaining but there is something about Three Rivers that I miss.

Three Rivers was the first place I saw a major league baseball game. As a kid, I didn’t realize how less than ideal the playing surfaces were and now can’t imagine having to play baseball or football on that carpet.

In my early days of attending Three Rivers, the place was usually rocking during Pirates games, they were winning division championship after division championship but even after the Bucs were in the early stages of a 20-year losing streak, it was still fun to go to the nearly empty stadium on the North SIDE, not shore, for a Pirates game.

We’d take the bus down, go to the box office and say we were 12 so we could get in for only $1 and get the Sunday kids giveaway.

We’d spend half the game watching the action on the field and the other half wandering around the dungeon-like halls taking in the smells of the game and looking for the cheapest food we could find.

Three Rivers is where I got to step onto a Major League playing field for a Hills’ Pirates Kid’s Club event, where I got to watch the Bucs win the division in 1992 and where I saw Bob Walk throw a gem for Game 5 of the NLCS (little did I know a few days later Sid Bream and the Braves would break my heart). I still get a sick feeling in my stomach thinking about that game 7.

So PNC Park may be the best Ballpark in America but it wasn’t home growing up, Three Rivers was.


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