PNC Park, which opened in spring 2001, is a classic-style ballpark, an intimate facility that embraces the progressiveness of Pittsburgh while saluting the spirit of early ballpark originals such as Forbes Field, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. It is the fifth home of the Pittsburgh Pirates since their inception in 1887.
This riverfront facility combines the best features of yesterday’s ballparks – rhythmic archways, steel trusswork and a natural grass playing field – with the latest in fan and player amenities and comfort.
PNC Park is the first ballpark with a two-deck design to be built in the United States since Milwaukee’s County Stadium was completed in 1953. Because of its intimate design, the highest seat is just 88 feet from the field, giving every fan in the park an ideal sight line.
The stadium was opened in October 1961 as the District of Columbia Stadium (D.C. Stadium for short). The stadium was renamed in January 1969, for U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated in Los Angeles the previous June. The announcement was made by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall on January 18, in the last days of the Johnson Administration.
As attorney general in the early 1960s, Kennedy’s Justice Department played a role in the racial integration of the Redskins. Along with Udall, Kennedy threatened to revoke the team’s lease at the federally-owned stadium until it promised to sign African American players.