Pittsburgh’s history is forged in steel. Its future is based in Tech and Medicine.
But its identity is draped in “Black ‘n Gold.”
More than half of all tourists to the city claim to have attended at least one sporting event between the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. It has been estimated that the average yearly media exposure brought to the city through professional sports is worth over $40 million in TV advertisements. Over the course of five years (2012-2017), the teams induced an incremental $6 billion in direct and indirect spending for the region.
The impacts of professional sports to the region are far-reaching, but they can be seen and felt every day on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
Three Rivers Stadium was home to the Steelers and Pirates for 30 years before the teams established their own stadiums. While there are great memories from inside the building that will last forever, the same thing cannot be said for the area that surrounded the old Three Rivers Stadium. Most fans would arrive early before the game to tailgate but would leave almost immediately after the final pitch or last second ticked from the clock.
PNC Park and Heinz Field opened their doors to fans in 2001 and, ever since, have routinely been ranked as some of the best stadiums in their respective sports. When the Steelers and Pirates began construction of their stadiums on the North Shore, new opportunity for development was created. The goal became to turn a great place to see a game in to a great place to work, eat and play — no matter what day of the week.
Over the next 18 years, the teams would facilitate the development of over 850,000 square feet of the North Shore, with future plans to eclipse 1 million. The area now offers a place to stay, year-round music and entertainment venues, premier dining, business offices, and more on the way.
Multiple events and concerts featuring music’s biggest names now take place each week at the indoor/outdoor venue, Stage AE. A division of the Steelers and Continental Real Estate co-own the facility and continue to utilize the space to attract premier entertainment for both residents and out-of-towners. The multi-use venue, only the second of its kind in creation, sits adjacent to Heinz Field along North Shore Drive and is the first of many stops between Heinz Field and PNC Park.
A development partnership consisting of a division of the Steelers, Pirates and Continental Real Estate has also facilitated the development of large commercial offices, including the EQT Building, North Shore Place I and II, Del Monte Building and, most recently, the SAP/Ariba building. The construction of the office buildings along the river included a completely revamped river walk now seen as a perfect destination for boaters, runners and bikers.
Nearly 4,500 jobs were brought to the area through the numerous restaurants (Jerome Bettis Bar and Grille, Hyde Park Steakhouse) and businesses (Starkist, People’s Gas, SAP, Cisco Systems). BURN by Rocky Patel is one of the latest installments — the Pittsburgh location being one of his only five high-end cigar bars in the country.
Over 2 million fans from around the world make their yearly pilgrimage to the Steel City in order to see their favorite teams play in two of the best stadiums in U.S. sports. Today, they can travel to the region and take in more than just a home run or a touchdown. The sprawling North Shore has become a boon to the economy and a proud meeting point for Pittsburghers.
Approximately 80 percent of the North Shore has already developed, with plans to develop the remaining lots currently underway.
More than just adding entertainment, sports and dining within walking distance, the development of the North Shore has also coincided with a 38 percent-increase in property value for nearby residents. So while the development of the North Shore has been a breath of fresh air to an area in need, it has also translated into numerous benefits to all the residents of Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood.
This article was provided by Heinz Field/Pittsburgh Steelers.
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