Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Riverhounds Climb on Sinking Barge

Pittsburgh has seen its fair share of redevelopment in recent years and it looks as if at least one more construction project will hope to give Pittsburgh a new image. The Post Gazette reports that plans for a new soccer stadium have been revealed at Station Square for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer team which is a member of the United Soccer League.

The idea to build a roughly 7,000 seat soccer only stadium in Pittsburgh is not just surprising, but more importantly ridiculous. As you know Blast Furnace members keep a keen eye on local sports and I had no idea that this team even existed anymore. I have quite the history with this team as well and can explain why this stadium makes no sense. The year was 1999 and the Riverhounds were looking for a place to play their games and they settled upon my Alma Mater, Bethel Park High School. I had the distinct pleasure of working for the "Hounds" as an usher and set-up/tear down employee. The Hounds were lucky to get 300 fans in their inaugural season here in Pittsburgh. The pay was great as an employee, but the quality of soccer was below poor and the owners seemed as if they were running a YMCA team rather than a professional team. To add to that point, at one game we had Brandi Chastain attend a game and sign autographs...who was her personal bodyguard and security...that's right, yours truly. At that game, they were lucky if they hit 500 fans.

Pittsburgh can barely get full attendance at Pitt basketball games consistently and could never support an NBA team, yet low level minor league soccer feels that it can do well? I feel that after this move Pittsburgh will "unleash the hounds" to a more soccer friendly city.


  1. Yes, I was suprised by this plan as well. I remember about 10 yrs ago they wanted a soccer stadium at Station Square but nothing ever came of it. I too did not know that they were still around. The stadium seems a bit small and the space doesn't look big enough to expand if say a real MLS team or something were to come to Pittsburgh. Pitt built a nice new field last year, maybe they should try that one.

    One benefit would be that it would be built on land that is insuffiently used right now.

  2. What in the hell is going on? I thought this team disbanded back in 2000.

    If the city is looking to waste money, even this isn't worth wasting on. On the upside, they will probably be able te resell the seats to vendors at brand new prices since they will never be used.

    7000 seats is about 6850 too many.