It was reported this week that the Pittsburgh Riverhounds filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy through attorneys, they serve Fort Worth and nearby areas, one season after their re-birth in their new home, Beautiful Hallmark Stadium on the Southside of Pittsburgh. This just days before the season begins. You could hop over to this website for solutions.
The season will go on as the Majority Owner, Terrance Shallenberger will front his own money to keep the team here and playing as the restructuring is taking place. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times article by Tim Schooley, the team has a Mortgage debt of$7.16 Million. The Stadiums original plans were to have it built for $10 million, there is no report at this point that shows how much the final cost was for the Stadium, but needless to say, it looks like it ran far beyond the $10 million.
The ownership group is confident that the stadium and team is viable after a restructuring. I am not so sure of that though. There are now so many facilities in and around the City to hold events, I am not sure that this stadium can be viable for enough days of the year.
With PNC Park, Heinz field, Consol Energy Center, The Peterson Event center, Stage AE and Consol Energy Park in Washington Pa all vying for events and concerts, just where does this stadium fit? (This does not take into consideration all of the other halls and Theaters in Western PA)
One of the benefits of the stadium is that it is built for Soccer, which is growing in popularity in and around the city. But Soccer really is not a major revenue generating sport for local colleges or high schools, so how does that play when renting it out? During the stadium’s first season in operation, the Passion played there with 4 home games. The attendance was fine, but that was just 4 home games. Not to mention, that some in the local media have expressed their displeasure with the two teams in the same facility. I in fact thought it was a fine idea because the Stadium needs to be used as much as possible to keep it from being and Empty Lot.
I too think that a proper restructuring can fix the issues as we have seen with some other local teams. With that said, this is still different as minor league franchises stand on much shakier ground in most cases. Most of the revenue the Riverhounds generate is from their soccer academy and programs throughout the region.
The Riverhounds do have one really glowing beacon of hope and that is the fact that they signed an affiliation this year with the Houston Dynamo of the MLS. That partnership could open up some doors of opportunity for the future and provide hope to a franchise that right now needs as much as it can get.