PITTSBURGH (Dec. 14, 2023) – The Pittsburgh Steelers today announced an historic expansion of their longstanding commitment to local youth: A new, state-of-the-art community field and youth-recreation complex at Hazelwood Green.
The complex will be operated by the Steelers Charities and branded with the Steelers logo. Activities will include youth football; clinics with current and former Steelers players and coaches; boys and girls flag football; soccer games and clinics; and renovation of a 10,000 square-foot building on the site to enable indoor sports and recreation activities, so the site can be utilized year-round. As it grows, the complex also could include top-tier food and beverage concessions; and enhancements to the main field so that it also could be utilized for high-school sports.
Tishman Speyer, which was selected in 2022 by Almono Partners to serve as the master developer of the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site, will develop the youth sports and recreation complex on behalf of the Steelers. Construction will begin next year with a grand opening planned for 2025.
“We are excited to be part of this special project which will provide the young athletes of our region access to a state-of-the-art facility at Hazelwood Green,” said Dan Rooney, Steelers Director of Business Development & Strategy. “Not only will the field be utilized for various clinics and games in the community, but the Steelers plan to use the field for community programming and player-led initiatives. It is a very exciting announcement, and we are appreciative of the efforts of so many people in the community to help make this a reality, in particular the Richard King Mellon Foundation and Tishman Speyer.”
Tim Smith, Founder and CEO of Center of Life, a Hazelwood community-empowerment organization, said, “Center of Life (COL) is thrilled to welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Greater Hazelwood community. COL has partnered with the Steelers for several years, providing tickets for our families, students and staff to attend football games and engaging our students in the NFL’s “My Cleats, My Cause” program. The players have volunteered and participated in our community events, filling bags with food for Thanksgiving meals, delivering turkeys to families, and helping students with homework. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been great community partners, but now they’ll be partners in the community. “Here We Go!” Together!
The project is a collaboration of three generational, community-focused organizations: The Steelers; Tishman Speyer; and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
The Steelers, one of the NFL’s oldest franchises, were founded 90 years ago by Art Rooney Sr.; today the organization is led by his grandson, Art Rooney II. Tishman Speyer, an internationally admired developer focused on building vibrant communities, traces its roots back 125 years and is led by CEO Rob Speyer. And the Richard King Mellon Foundation is Pittsburgh’s largest philanthropy and one of the 50 largest in the world; the foundation was founded 76 years ago and today is led by Richard King Mellon’s grandchildren.
The new Steelers field is centered on a shared belief between the three organizations in the central importance of sports and recreation in youth development, and a shared commitment to assure that such opportunities are available to all. The project is meant to decisively address a well-documented shortage of youth-centric sports and recreation destinations in the City of Pittsburgh.
The complex will be built in the section of Hazelwood Green most easily accessible to the Hazelwood community. It will serve youth from Hazelwood and across the Pittsburgh region.
"The Steelers organization has a long history of giving back to their community of fans,” said Sonya Tilghman, executive director of Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. “It’s exciting that they want Hazelwood to be their home. But, not only will this facility provide a place for Steelers-sponsored programs and events -- the facility will be a resource for community organization’s programming as well. This facility will be a great addition to our community, and we’re looking forward to having the Steelers as our neighbors!"
The Richard King Mellon Foundation has awarded a $10 million grant to Steelers Charities, the team’s charitable arm, to fund construction of the new community field.
“Our Board approved this funding because this historic project advances so many of the Foundation’s philanthropic priorities,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Foundation. “This new community field will become a destination to advance the health and well-being and future economic mobility of youth in Hazelwood and across our region. It will spur economic development in Hazelwood and all of Pittsburgh. And it is yet another compelling demonstration of the unique potential of Hazelwood Green to attract nationally respected organizations to work together to create a new model of community and economic development to benefit the people of Hazelwood and our region.”
As master developer of Hazelwood Green, Tishman Speyer will draw upon its experience and expertise managing similar community-focused partnerships with the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and Harvard University. In addition to its partnership with Steelers Charities and the Foundation, Tishman Speyer is working with Carnegie Mellon University on the new Robotics Innovation Center and the University of Pittsburgh on a new biomanufacturing center at Hazelwood Green, the BioForge.
“A key objective of this historic redevelopment is to harness the energy and dedication of Pittsburgh’s most beloved institutions to enrich the neighborhoods surrounding Hazelwood Green,” said Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer. “The Steelers’ field and youth recreation complex embodies that commitment and will give back to the community, the city and its families for decades to come.”
The field will be located at the site’s southeast entrance on Hazelwood Avenue between Gloster Street and Tecumseh Street.
Hazelwood Green is directly across the Monongahela River from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, the Steelers’ Southside training complex and offices.
“I want to thank the Pittsburgh Steelers, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Tishman Speyer, and Almono for coming together in partnership to create a safe place for our kids to learn and play,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “These types of partnerships are what make Pittsburgh great, and I’m excited to see just how big of an impact this investment will have on the community of Hazelwood. This field will help children across the city and provide opportunities for them to learn and have a healthy future.”
“There is huge demand for additional playing fields in the City of Pittsburgh,” said Barbara Warwick, District 5 City Council Member. “And youth football is particularly important here in Hazelwood. I’m really excited to see the Steelers, Tishman Speyer, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation coming together to bring this much-needed asset to the community.”
“Congratulations to the Hazelwood Green team for the partnership with the Steelers to build a community field,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Thank you to the Steelers, Tishman Speyer and RK Mellon for your commitment to Hazelwood. We are fortunate to have such partners in this region.”
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About Hazelwood Green Hazelwood Green is the site of the former LTV Steel mill. A 178-acre riverside tract with a Downtown view, it is owned by three Pittsburgh foundations – the Benedum Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The three foundations – working together as Almono LP – have collaborated to prepare the site for development, and in partnership with Tishman Speyer are establishing a new model of community-focused economic development, with affordable housing, community recreation and a site-wide commitment to sustainability. Hazelwood Green is the emerging home to Pittsburgh’s most advanced and promising industries. Carnegie Mellon University – already operating in the Mill 19 building – will construct its new Robotics Innovation Center at Hazelwood Green. And the University of Pittsburgh will build the BioForge at Hazelwood Green, a sophisticated biomanufacturing center. The Richard King Mellon Foundation has awarded $175 million in funding for the CMU and Pitt projects.