Friday, April 25, 2003

Pirates Petition City, State for New Stadium

To combat slumping ticket sales, Pittsburgh Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy Monday petitioned representatives from the state of Pennsylvania, as well as the City of Pittsburgh, to come to his aid.

“Our plan is simple,” said McClatchy. “With the new stadium in Cincinnati and with Philadelphia building a new ballpark, we feel it’s time for a change in Pittsburgh.”

McClatchy, citing the importance of the Pirates both to baseball and the City of Pittsburgh asked the government to consider setting aside funds for a new baseball stadium. “We need to remain competitive,” explained McClatchy.

“We feel that a new ballpark, located near the river, facing the downtown city-scape, will bring back fans, spark more interest in Major League Baseball, and attract more revenues for both the team and the city.”

The new stadium, he explained, would be erected on the site of the old Three Rivers Stadium. That site is currently between PNC Park, where the Pirates now play, and Heinz Field, the ultra-modern home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers. The plan calls for erection of the $180 million stadium on land now inhabited by parking lots. The work would begin in August of 2004 and last until February of 2005. PNC Park would be razed in November of 2004. The plans call for a large parking garage to be built on that site.

“I know that parking on the North Shore will be hectic when we begin,” McClatchy said. “But, I know both Bucco and Steelers fans will put up with a little inconvenience in the name of progress.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy reiterated his stance that the city had no money available. “When we built PNC Park and Heinz Field, I told you there was no money available. I’ve told Mario [Lemieux, owner of the Penguins] that no money is available. You’ll have to go to the state.”

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