Rendering courtesy of Allegheny Health Network.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds football club is teaming up with Highmark and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) to build a massive new sports and health complex in Coraopolis.

Located on State Avenue near the Montour Trail, the 78-acre development will include a 20,000-square-foot medical facility and 10 turfed, FIFA regulation soccer and multi-purpose fields, two of which will be indoors and open year-round.

The new facility is not meant to replace the Riverhounds’ existing stadium but rather, is being designed to attract youth sports tournaments. The team has run their own youth sports training program, The Riverhounds Development Academy, since 2007.

The major project was announced during a ceremony on July 17 at the Riverhounds’ Highmark Stadium in Station Square. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, State Senator Wayne Fontana and State Representative Anita Astorino Kulik were in attendance.

Courtesy of Allegheny Health Network.

“I would like to thank Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network for partnering with us to construct this marvelous facility,” Pittsburgh Riverhounds owner and complex developer Tuffy Shallenberger said. “This facility will not only be beneficial to our professional team and the Academy but to thousands of kids across western Pennsylvania who are involved with athletics.”

The medical wing of the project will include a wide variety of sports medicine and physical therapy services, “including primary care and pediatrics with walk-in express care and extended hours seven days a week,” said an announcement about the project.

Highmark has been the official healthcare provider for the Riverhounds since 2008.

“Working with the Riverhounds organization over the past decade has been a privilege for our team,” said Patrick DeMeo, MD, chair of the AHN Orthopaedic Institute and medical director for the Pittsburgh Pirates, in a press release. “We cannot wait to be part of this unique complex that will bring the resources of AHN and our sports medicine program to the thousands of athletes who live in this community, or who will travel here from across the country for soccer tournaments and other sports events.”

The first phase of the project, which will include the medical center and an attached indoor field, will open to the public in the summer of 2020. The remaining fields will be finished in 2021.

In the last decade, youth sports has become a booming business, leading many cities across the nation to invest in large-scale athletic compounds. According to an analysis from the Massachusetts-based WinterGreen Research, the American youth sports industry has a $17 billion market value in the U.S., fueled by travel, equipment and facility construction.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.