19 years ago today, Pittsburgh said goodbye to a complex that many saw as an eye sore.
Three Rivers Stadium, one of the “cookie cutter” stadiums build in the 1960s and 70s was the home of both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers for 30 years.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Three Rivers Stadium was the only home I knew for baseball and football.
I didn’t pay attention to the dank, depressing hallways and dungeon-like corridors.
I was there for baseball, ice cream and the Pizza Hut pop-up contest thanks to the pair of tickets I scored as a member of the Hills’ Department Store Knothole Gang Pirates Fan Club!
Years earlier, fans witnessed countless NFL and MLB playoffs and World Series games, Roberto’s 3000th hit and the greatest play in NFL history, The Immaculate Reception.
For me, it was AFC Championship games, especially in 1995 when the Steelers finally made it back to the Super Bowl when they beat the Colts.
It was 1992, when I was in attendance watching the Pirates win the division, little did I know that would be the last one still to this day.
The Pirates were in decline in 1994 but the All-Star Game and its festivities provided plenty of distraction for a young kid of 11.
Later on, during the Pirates’ Freak Show year in 1997, my cousins and I would take a PAT Bus down and pretend to be 14 so we could get general admission tickets for $1.
Then on February 11, 2001, Pittsburgh got up early to watch live on every local station the old stadium implode.
It was quite the spectacle with hours of coverage leading up to the event.
After the stadium fell was probably my favorite part.
After watching a giant building come crashing down early in the morning the most Pittsburgh thing happened, fireworks were shot off....fireworks!
While the opening of PNC Park and Heinz Field was a breath of fresh air, with real grass on the field, it was Three Rivers that was home for me during my formative sports years.