Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Stadium Politics

Earlier this week, a gentleman named Gary Rector made the following "This Date In History"-type post on Jim Haller's "Corsair Tales" Facebook group:

Nov. 14, 1956 The Pirates threaten to move the franchise from Pittsburgh unless a new municipal stadium is built to replace Forbes Field. The second division club drew 949,878 fans, the fifth best total of the eight National League teams.

This led to a number of comments along the lines of "well this is how far back corporate and municipal blackmail by sports teams went".  I also made the following comment to Mr. Rector's post:

PNC Park just completed its 16th season. Three Rivers Stadium lasted for 31 seasons, and the discontent with the place began well before then. The Braves and the Rangers have already shown us that the shelf life of "state of the art" ball parks is about twenty years. Nothing coming from 115 Federal Street in the next five years or so about this issue will surprise me. Nothing.

I could add to that that I would be even less surprised if such rumblings emanated from the Steelers' corporate offices expressing discontent with Heinz Field. In fact, such rumblings appeared three or four years ago, and that led to the construction of those 3,000 new "club level" seats at Heinz Field.

It will be interesting to see how the ownership  groups of both the Pirates and Steelers act about their respective stadiums in three or four more years when this facilities begin their third decade of operations. As I said, nothing will surprise me.

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