Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park was constructed to replace Three Rivers Stadium, which was thirty years old when the team moved to their new facility. Construction of PNC Park began on April 7th, 1999, and the stadium opened less than two years later on March 31st, 2001. PNC Park was built at a cost of $216 million, with much of the funding for the stadium derived from the public pocket. A proposal to fund a trio of facilities through taxes was controversial, at one point called Scam B by locals, although the facility and the team eventually came to an agreement.
Located on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, right beside the Allegheny River, fans originally wanted to name the stadium in honor of Roberto Clemente, but PNC Financial Services ended up paying for the naming rights instead.
Similar to many of the newest MLB stadiums, PNC Park was heavily inspired by Oriole Park at Camden Yards. As a result, PNC Park is designed as an open-air stadium focused mostly on baseball and the fan experience, which resulted in a gorgeous stadium that features limestone fixtures and a beautiful view of the downtown region.
Pittsburgh Pirates Stadium
The 2015 MLB Park Factor stats show that PNC Park has a lower rate of run production compared to most Major League Baseball facilities, ranking near the bottom third. Home runs are hit at a slightly accelerated pace compared to average, while the production of other extra base hits are below average, especially the rate of doubles, which is ranked bottom five in the league.
During both the 2014 and 2015 season, the Pirates have played extremely well at PNC Field, earning 50 home wins or more during both campaigns. This has allowed them to sneak into the playoffs despite a weak road record in 2014 and a strong campaign in both years by the St. Louis Cardinals, their division rivals.
The height of the outfield fences varies greatly, with left field featuring a six foot wall and center field possessing a 10-foot wall. The right field wall is 21 feet tall in tribute to Roberto Clemente, who wore the number on his jersey while he was with the Pirates. The river beside the stadium is just over 443 feet away. Only three players have launched the ball in the river, including Pedro Alvarez, who hit a homer into somebody’s boat.
Date Opened: March 31, 2001
Construction Cost: $216 million
Architect: Populous; L.D. Astorino & Associates
Ballpark Type: Retro Classic
Capacity Attendance: 38,362
Playing Surface: Tuckahoe Bluegrass
Previous Pittsburgh Pirates Stadiums
Exposition Park I & II; Recreation Park; Forbes Field; Three Rivers Stadium
Other Major Events
2006 MLB All-Star Game
PNC Park hosted the 2006 All-Star Game, which resulted in the National League falling to the American League by a score of 3-2, witnessed by 38,904 fans at the game. Roberto Clemente was honored by the MLB with a Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, which was accepted by his wife, Vera Clemente.
The City Game was a college baseball match that took place annually between the Pitt Panthers and the Duquesne Dukes. After seven years, this tradition ended due to the disbanding of the Dukes baseball team.