Steelers Break Ground for New Football Stadium

Pittsburgh, June 18, 1999 -- A new era in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers began when the Steelers broke ground for construction of what will be one of the finest football stadiums to be built.

The groundbreaking ceremony was a celebration for all of Pittsburgh and adds to one of the most enterprising periods ever in the City with the construction of two new sports stadiums, the renovation of the Convention Center, and several other projects in the city's core area.

The Steelers official stadium groundbreaking ceremony, hosted jointly by the University of Pittsburgh, included Gov. Tom Ridge, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Steelers president Dan Rooney and vice president Art Rooney II, University of Pittsburgh chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, Mayor Tom Murphy, County Commissioners Mike Dawida and Bob Cranmer, Steelers Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene and other local community leaders who participated in the festivities. The ceremony was held in the parking lot west of current Three Rivers Stadium that boarders North Shore Drive.

"This is an extremely exciting period for Pittsburgh, the Steelers, the University of Pittsburgh and our fans," said Art Rooney II.

The Fans Groundbreaking Celebration began at 6 p.m. Fans had the opportunity to have their picture taken near the construction site while turning a shovel full of dirt. This event was operated by the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and for a nominal donation, fans received a commemorative photograph to take home with them.

The Clarks, one of the hottest local bands in the Tri-State area, performed a free concert from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the stadium.

The evening activities included the Steelers Experience in which fans can test their passing skills in the “QB Challenge.” “Run to Daylight” lets fans time themselves in the 40-yard dash. Fans were able to run the obstacle course and practice kicking. The Experience also featured static displays of the team locker room modeled after the lockers in Three Rivers Stadium and a chance to take your picture in a Steelers uniform. The Pittsburgh Athletic Department conducted its popular Panther Fan Fest activities alongside the Steelers Experience and included fan photo opportunities with the Heisman Trophy won by Tony Dorsett, the Pitt Obstacle Challenge and other exciting interactive games.

Included among the entertainment was the first public viewing of the new stadium through a virtual video, and an appearance by the University of Pittsburgh Marching Band.

The day of events culminated with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.