Left Field - 340 ft
Left-Center - 385 ft
Center Field - 410 ft
Right-Center - 385 ft
Right Field - 345
Left Field - 335 ft
Left-Center - 375 ft
Center Field - 400 ft
Right-Center - 375 ft
Right Field - 335 ft
Backstop - 60 ft
foul territory: large
The stadium's name was derived from the junction of the Monongahela and
Allegheny rivers, where they formed the Ohio River, the "Golden
Triangle". The stadium was located on the north side of the
Three Rivers played home to Pittsburgh's Pirates, Steelers and the USFL
Pittsburgh Maulers, as well as to concerts, monster truck rallies,
professional wrestling shows and other types of events. In all, Three
Rivers Stadium hosted over 5,000 events in its 30 years of existence, but
it was seen as an outdated facility in the "luxury box" and
"signature stadium" era of the 21st century.
The stadium's design was nearly circular, attempting to facilitate use
by the Pirates and Steelers with equal accommodation. Unfortunately, as
was the case with other cities in which this so-called "cookie
cutter" approach was employed (see especially Busch
in St. Louis, Riverfront in
Cincinnati, and Veteran's in
Philadelphia), the fundamentally different shapes of the playing
fields made the stadium inadequate to the needs of either sport.
Even by "cookie cutter" standards, the upper deck at 3RS was
exceptionally high, making for steep climbs by event attendees and adding
to its cavernous feel. By the 1990s, the use of multiple low-bid
contractors in its construction began to show, as parts of the concrete
began to turn differing shades of brown.
to the site of Three Rivers Stadium!
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The stadium did have its moments of glory and drama, mostly in its
first decade of existence. The Pirates won the 1971 and 1979 World Series
while playing here, upsetting the favored Baltimore Orioles in both
The 1971 World Series featured the first night game in World Series
history (Game 4). Roberto Clemente ended his career while playing here,
garnering 3,000 hits, before his death in a plane crash while bringing
earthquake relief supplies.
Slugger Willie Stargell established himself as a fan favorite. The
Pirates also made the playoffs during 1990-1991-1992, only to be thwarted
by the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves, and since then by the
competitive disproportions of the big-contract era in baseball.
The implosion of
Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, on February 11, 2001, as
seen from the Goodyear blimp.
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
The Steelers fielded what was arguably the greatest NFL team of all
time, culminating in four championship trophies for the 1970's with wins
in Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV. The
Steelers, coached by Chuck Noll, featured quarterback Terry Bradshaw,
running back Franco Harris, receiver Lynn Swann, and defender
"Mean" Joe Greene, who anchored the "Steel Curtain."
The so-called "Immaculate Reception" play occurred here, in a
1972 AFC playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. In the 1990's the
Steelers, coached by Bill Cowher, again made the Super Bowl (Super Bowl
XXX), only to lose to the Dallas Cowboys. One of the biggest upsets in NFL
history occurred on January 15, 1995, when the San Diego Chargers scored a
last-second goal line stand and upset the Steelers in the AFC championship
game, 17-13, negating a stellar performance by quarterback Neil O'Donnell.
Three Rivers Stadium was imploded on February 11, 2001. The Pirates
moved into a baseball-specific facility, PNC Park, situated farther east
on the north bank of the Allegheny River. The Steelers later that year
moved into Heinz Field, a facility built less than 50 feet (15 m) from
where Three Rivers stood.
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