November 13 2013

Pittsburgh’s Venues Help Bring in Tourism

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh is known for having some of the best stadiums and arenas across the United States. With over a dozen total venues, Pittsburgh brings in thousands of people a year for concerts and sports events across the city.

The largest two stadiums in the city, Heinz Field and PNC Park, sit within a quarter mile of each other along the North Shore of the city. These two arenas were both built in 2001, after the famed Three Rivers Arena, which held both the American football Pittsburgh Steelers and the baseball Pittsburgh Pirates, was demolished due to a lack of facilities for both teams. The larger of the two stadiums, Heinz Field, sits a total of 65,500 people for its football games, and brings in even more for concerts held in the arena over the summer.

CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh

The largest indoor arena in the city is the CONSOL Energy Center, home of the hockey Pittsburgh Penguins, lies in the heart of the downtown corridor of the city. This arena was opened in 2010, after the famed Mellon Arena was demolished, and it can fit over 19,000 people. The issue of space in the downtown corridor came into play when planning for the new arena, as there was no possible space to build a new arena in the downtown area near the old arena. The city compromised to tear down a large hotel near Mellon Arena to fit in the new 720,000-square-foot arena, but this caused issues with the status of the current arena.

After CONSOL Energy center was completely constructed, many citizens felt it was unfair to demolish Mellon Arena. They felt it should be historically preserved due to its long history in the city, and its unique look, which made it a recognizable building on the cities landscape. Many lobbyists tried to set up preservation status for the building, which was set to become an extension of the Hill District, a lower-class neighborhood in the city. After much compromising, the city decided to demolish the arena, but will replace the area with a new five-star hotel and a sustainable multi-use residential/retail area.

Overall, most of Pittsburgh’s venues are relatively new, and all have a very unique feel which helps to add a fresh scene to the cities ever-changing landscape. With very little room for any more large-scale venues in the city, it isn’t expected that the city will create any new stadiums in the foreseeable future.

Where in the city would you place another arena? Does the city need any more arenas?

Credits: Images by Greg Shermeto. Data Linked to Sources.

Greg Shermeto

Greg Shermeto is a recent graduate at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.A. in Environmental Design. While studying, Greg worked on projects including the South Buffalo Trolley and Trail System, which helped to connect the Western New York Railway Historical Society’s railroad museum to the downtown corridor. He has also worked for the University at Buffalo’s Center for Urban Studies, where Greg assisted with the redevelopment of the Perry Choice neighborhood in downtown Buffalo. Greg also spent a semester studying the built environment of the Baltic States in Estonia and Latvia. Greg’s interests include transportation planning and community design, and the efforts to make urban areas accessible and functional for the future. For the Grid, Greg will be writing about planning issues and topics about the city of Pittsburgh, where he currently resides.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environmental Design, History/Preservation, Land Use, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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