In July of 1998, the SEA began working with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County to implement the Regional Destination Financing Plan (RDFP). The goal of the RDFP was to make Pittsburgh a premier destination for people across the country and around the world.
The RDFP supported the construction of PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the expansion of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, as well as the infrastructure improvements associated with these projects. The RDFP's combined cost exceeds $1 billion with monies coming from hotel tax and sales tax revenues, Steelers ticket surcharges, parking revenues, State appropriations, federal transportation funds, corporate funds, foundation money, and team contributions. No City or County funds were used to pay for these projects.
Funding sources and uses include the following:
August 4, 1994
The announcement that the Pirates are for sale becomes public. Major League Baseball makes a new ballpark a requirement for the sale to occur.
August 11, 1994
Baseball strike occurs and halts the season. Revenue sharing and salary-cap issues are unresolved when the season begins in 1995.
September 7, 1995
Kevin McClatchy negotiates a preliminary deal to buy the Pirates.
October 9, 1995
Steelers president Dan Rooney makes a public statement that Three Rivers Stadium needs to be upgraded or a new football stadium is needed for the team to remain competitive. A $75 million estimate is disclosed for the upgrading of Three Rivers Stadium.
October 25, 1995
National League President states that the McClatchy bid for the Pirates will not be accepted without a new ballpark.
November 8, 1995
National League Baseball gives preliminary approval for the McClatchy bid, but the demand for the new ballpark still remains.
February 14, 1996
The McClatchy bid is approved and the stipulations are set, including that a new ballpark will be constructed and opened by 2001.
June 25, 1996
The Forbes Field II Task Force proposes a ballpark site on North Shore, several yards to the east of Three Rivers Stadium.
July 2, 1996
Mayor Murphy and NFL officials meet to discuss the possibility of a new football stadium.
September 4, 1996
A panel appointed by Governor Ridge recommends that the state fund one-third of the costs of the new stadium through state loans.
June 18, 1997
Southwestern Pennsylvania Convention Center Design Commission is established to oversee Convention Center design process.
November 11, 1997
Financing framework is introduced and local sources include: the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), which manages money from a 1% county sales tax beyond the 6% base sales tax; revenues from a 7% tax for each hotel/motel rented in Allegheny County; parking revenue; and a payroll tax on non-resident athletes.
March 9, 1998
Regional Destination Financing Plan (RDFP) is announced. It encompasses $1 billion in development projects that include tripling the size of the Convention Center, building two new stadiums, and pay-off and demolition of Three Rivers Stadium.
March 17, 1998
Pirates make public the plans for a 38,000 seat ballpark that will be one of the most intimate parks in the country and will be in the downtown district.
April 30, 1998
Governor Ridge announces a state contribution for the Convention Center expansion of $150 million.
June 20, 1998
Negotiations between the City and the teams end with an agreement that the Pirates will pay $40 million toward the cost of a new ballpark and the Steelers will pay $76.5 million for a new stadium plus each team will guarantee payment of any cost overruns.
July 9, 1998
RAD board votes to allocate $13.4 million over 30 years toward the plan. This replaces the $10 million a year RAD had been allocating since 1994 for operations and debt at Three Rivers Stadium.
August 6, 1998
PNC Bank Corp. agrees to pay $30 million over 20 years for naming rights of the new baseball park. The Sixth Street Bridge is renamed Roberto Clemente Bridge.
September 29, 1998
Demolition begins as a Westinghouse warehouse is cleared for the site of the new baseball stadium.
October 14, 1998
A site adjacent to the existing Three Rivers Stadium is selected for the new football stadium.
November 9, 1998
Sale of football seat licenses begin. 47,000 seat licenses are sold in a little over a month, faster than seat licenses had sold in any other city. The proceeds are held in a Stadium Building Fund.
February 3, 1999
State share of $325 million for stadiums for the Pirates, Steelers, Phillies, and Eagles is approved by a 136-62 vote in the House and 34-15 vote in the Senate. The Pittsburgh stadiums receive $150 million and the Philadelphia stadiums receive $175 million.
April 7, 1999
Construction begins on PNC Park.
June 18, 1999
Construction begins on Heinz Field.
April 6, 2000
Construction of the expansion of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center begins.
May 31, 2000
Construction on the North Shore Garage begins.
February 11, 2001
Three Rivers Stadium is imploded.
April 9, 2001
First game at PNC Park and the opening of North Shore Garage.
June 15, 2001
H.J. Heinz Company agrees to pay $57 million over 20 years for naming rights of the new football stadium.
August 25, 2001
First game at Heinz Field.
February 23, 2002
Phase I of the Convention Center opens for the RV Show.
August 6, 2003
Bruce Springsteen was the first concert at PNC Park.
September 20, 2003
Convention Center opens officially with a gala weekend called "Pittsburgh Powers Up," celebrated by thousands of guests.