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Football stadium architect selected

Monday, September 28, 1998

By Gerry Dulac, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

The Steelers have settled on an architect for the new $230 million football stadium on the North Shore, and it's the same design firm that will do PNC Park for the Pirates.

HOK Sports, the Kansas City-based firm that has also designed Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards in Baltimore and Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., was selected from a group of architectural firms to build the stadium that is expected to open in August 2001, Steelers Vice President Art Rooney II said yesterday.

The next step: Decide on a site for the new stadium. That will be done sometime this week, probably before Thursday, Rooney said.

"They really have the credentials to do it," he said of HOK Sports, which is considered the leading stadium design firm in the country. "We wanted to go through a process where we did look at some other firms, to see what they could offer, but at the end it became pretty clear to us that HOK was the right firm."

Rooney said the new stadium would not have upper-deck seating in the end-zone areas because the Steelers want to take advantage of the view Downtown and of the riverfront area. That is the same concept being used by HOK at PNC Park, the $224 million facility for the Pirates that is scheduled to open in April 2001.

It has still not been determined whether the new football stadium will be constructed on the east side of the Carnegie Science Center, closer to Three Rivers Stadium, or on the west side, where more vacant land exists. Site preparation, which includes the demolition of existing buildings, is scheduled to begin in June 1999.

That gives the Steelers 27 months to have the stadium completed.

"The site selection will happen this week and the architects are already on site," Rooney said. "We've been working with the science center, working with architects, trying to get a site that will work for everyone. We have to be in the ground by June of next year."

In a related matter, he said season-ticket holders should have final details about a personal-seat license plan by the end of October. Season ticket holders have already been notified by mail that a plan by which fans pay a premium price merely for the privilege of purchasing a ticket is in the works.

"That's a big piece of the puzzle," Rooney said.

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