Three Rivers Stadium

Three Rivers Stadium, once a central sports and cultural hub in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an iconic multi-purpose stadium that played a significant role in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB) and professional sports.

Stadium Facts about Three Rivers Stadium

  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Opened On: July 16, 1970
  • Closed On: October 1, 2000
  • Home Team: Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB), Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)
  • Stadium Nicknames: “The House that Clemente Built”
  • Dimensions: Left Field – 335 feet, Center Field – 400 feet, Right Field – 335 feet
  • Capacity: Around 47,000 for baseball
  • Attendance Record: Over 50,000 on several occasions
  • Surface: AstroTurf
  • Architect: Deeter Ritchey Sipple
  • Owner: City of Pittsburgh

The History

Three Rivers Stadium was named for the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, where it was situated. It replaced Forbes Field as the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pitt Stadium for the Pittsburgh Steelers, symbolizing the city’s modernization efforts in the late 20th century.

Design and Features

Designed as a multi-purpose “cookie-cutter” stadium, Three Rivers Stadium was characteristic of the era’s trend towards stadiums that could host both baseball and football. Its circular design and artificial turf were state-of-the-art at the time. The stadium was known for its symmetrical dimensions and relatively even playing field.


Throughout its 30-year history, the stadium underwent several renovations to improve the fan experience and maintain its facilities. These included updates to the seating, scoreboard, and sound system, as well as enhancements to the luxury boxes and club levels.


The facilities at Three Rivers Stadium, while not as luxurious by modern standards, were considered top-notch during its operational years. It offered a variety of concession stands, merchandise shops, and comfortable seating options. The stadium was appreciated for its easy accessibility and panoramic views of the Pittsburgh skyline.

Memorable Moments at Three Rivers Stadium

  • 1971 World Series: Hosting the Pirates’ World Series victory.
  • 1979 World Series: Known as “The Family” celebration, marking another championship for the Pirates.
  • All-Star Game in 1974 and 1994: Hosting the MLB All-Star Game twice.
  • Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th Hit: A landmark event in MLB history.
  • Final Game: Marking the end of an era with a significant closing ceremony.

Interesting Baseball History at Three Rivers Stadium

  • Evolution of Ballpark Design: Representing a shift in the design and purpose of MLB stadiums.
  • Impact on Pittsburgh’s Baseball: Playing a key role in the city’s baseball history and the development of the Pirates.
  • Cultural Impact: The stadium was a central part of the community, hosting various cultural events and celebrations.
  • Transition to PNC Park: Paving the way for the construction of PNC Park, the Pirates’ current home with a more traditional and baseball-specific design.

Non-Baseball Events

Besides baseball, Three Rivers Stadium was known for hosting a variety of events. It was a prominent NFL venue for the Pittsburgh Steelers, including multiple Super Bowl-winning seasons. The stadium also hosted large concerts, political rallies, and other significant events, making it a versatile venue in Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. The variety of events at Three Rivers Stadium highlighted its importance as a multi-purpose facility in the city’s history.