Pittsburgh unleashes the Riverhounds for Paul Child night

Highmark Stadium Pgh Riverhounds

HOT – LEGS!

HOT – LEGS!

HOT – LEGS!

Paul Child Tribute

Chants rang out as we walked to mid-field in honor of our friend Paul Child at halftime.

Paul Child Tribute

HOT – LEGS!

HOT – LEGS!

HOT – LEGS!

This was a moment I was able to experience up close because of something that happened 16 years ago.

When I moved to Pittsburgh for a tech job in the winter of 1998 the Pittsburgh Riverhounds were just a twinkle in the eye of local sports. A few months later my brother would join their team as the head of marketing and as the season took shape, I joined to help in merchandising part time. It was an organization of young people trying to make sense of soccer and sell the sport again to Pittsburgh, a city known for everything but that.

The summer became an experience in working with what today would be considered a start-up as we would dress up/tear down Bethel Park High school stadium for games, learn first hand how, at age 23, to run merch/promotions/customer service and deal with handling celebs such as Brandi Chastain who was a guest fresh off her Women’s World Cup win. I made friends with many on the staff and one of those was Paul Child. Every home game would end the same way, all of us in a bar discussing the game and logistics over beers and discovering the world of shaking pepper on my Guinness, which I still do today.

Fast forward 16 years to Saturday night and we gathered once again for Paul’s special night. Granted, I’m not as close as my brother is to the gang but the great thing about them is everyone knows your name and treats you like family. This night the section occupied by the Steel Army (the area of most stadiums occupied by the super fans) was renamed The Paul Child Stands.

The experience overall was amazing, especially for a family. This was our first trip to Highmark Stadium and once again Pittsburgh proved to be a great place for athletics on any level. It can be difficult for a family of 4 to afford Pirates/Steelers/Penguins tickets on a regular basis so this summer we’ve started visiting local minor league teams and smaller professional sports to see how we could spend our time together. The Riverhounds nailed it!

We were 4 rows back on the right end goal and were incredibly close to the action. I checked out the view from seats higher up and can honestly say I couldn’t find one bad seat in the house. Economically priced from $10-16/seat and concessions significantly lower than the big ball parks. There isn’t a lot of bling in your face but you will have a breathtaking view of the city, fast paced action and the scoreboard has an amazing picture. The kids are ready to go back and with the subway stop a short walk away, every game will be an adventure.

GO HOUNDS!

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