Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Opened||March 31, 2001|
City of Pittsburgh Sports & Exhibition Authority
HOK Sport (Kansas City) &
The stadium was built with public money after a long political debate. Mayor Tom Murphy originally proposed a sales tax increase to fund building of PNC Park and Heinz Field, but this proposal was rejected in a referendum. Mayor Murphy changed the funding plan, called it "Plan B", and put it into effect.
PNC Park was the smallest of the new major league baseball stadiums to be built in recent years. It was the first permanent facility to be built for a major league baseball team that hosted fewer than 40,000 since Milwaukee County Stadium, which was later expanded. It was also the first to be built with two decks rather than three - most of the club seats are actually located within the upper deck - since County Stadium. PNC Park is also has the smallest capacity of any stadium in the National League, only slightly smaller than Wrigley Field (Fenway Park is a few thousand seats smaller). The stadium includes 2,800 club seats, 69 luxury suites, and 4 party suites.
The stadium is often noted for its physical beauty, with the Allegheny River and the Roberto Clemente Bridge - named for Roberto Clemente, the Pirates right fielder from 1955-1972 - beyond right field. (Another nod to the late Hall of Famer is in right field, where the outfield fence reaches a height of 21 feet—Clemente wore number 21, which the Pirates have retired.) The right field view also offers a spectacular view of the downtown Pittsburgh skyline across the river. An ESPN study recently named PNC Park "the best stadium in baseball."
PNC Park is just up the Allegheny River from the sites of two of the Pirates' previous ballparks, Three Rivers Stadium and Exposition Park. Expo Park also afforded a great view of the Pittsburgh downtown, the way it was a century ago. Three Rivers might have too, had it not been fully enclosed. It is to be hoped that the Pirates themselves will someday recapture the memories of their Golden Years as the "Pittsburgh Lumber Company", and bring a World Series ring or two to this jewel of a ballpark.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covereage of "Plan B": http://www.post-gazette.com/planb/
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