Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

Three Rivers Stadium was a sports and multi-purpose venue located in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.   It sat at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers that in turn forms the Ohio River, hence the name.  The stadium opened to the public on July 16, 1970, hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team for the first game in their new home since moving from Forbes Field.  The Steelers also made their home there, creating some of the most memorable moments in sports history, including the famed Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972.  When the city’s sports teams were not in residence, Three Rivers served as an enormous concert venue for the bands that were too big to play at the Civic Arena.  The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and The Who played there among others.  Led Zeppelin played the stadium on July 24, 1973, a few days before they played their famous three-night run at Madison Square Garden that would be captured on film in The Song Remains the Same.  Some of the film footage of the band riding into New York was really of them riding on the Parkway to the show in Pittsburgh.  The Grateful Dead played Three Rivers Stadium on July 8, 1990 and June 30, 1995.  The band had outgrown their 80s home at the Civic Arena (their tenure there ending with a most violent episode of many of the ticketless being beaten and arrested outside the 4/3/89 show) and so played here to accommodate the growing Mega-Dead era crowds.  The June 30th show was the last show that the Grateful Dead would play in Pittsburgh, as Jerry Garcia would pass away less than two months later.  The band had a long history in the Pittsburgh, ranging from the early 70s through the mid 90s, playing a total of 15 times and three venues:  the Civic Arena, the Stanley Theatre, and Three Rivers Stadium.  The Stanley is the only venue still in existence, as the Civic Arena and Three Rivers are now demolished.  The stadium was imploded on February 11, 2001 to make for the new home of the Steelers, Heinz Field.  The picture on the left shows all that remains of Three Rivers Stadium, an old gate marker that stands to the right of the entrance to the new stadium.  It was surrounded by tents when this picture was taken, as there was a rib fest going on that day!  The picture on the right shows the new stadium, Heinz Field, sponsored by Pittsburgh’s most famous food product, Heinz Ketchup.    Three Rivers Stadium was not an architectural gem, but rather the importance of the structure lied in the many great  events that had taken place there and in the memories of the fans that danced and cheered within its concrete walls.


This post is sponsored by Type B Tye Dye Studios in New Hope, PA.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Bayer
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 13:35:29

    where is the like button here? 



  2. grosvenorsquare
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 22:08:46

    I don’t think there is one! But, you can just say you like it, thank you!


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