Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley offered that in passing Wednesday afternoon at Highmark Stadium, perfectly summarizing the bombshell the team dropped just an hour earlier. The Hounds announced at a press conference that the team would partner with Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health to break ground for a new, state-of-the-art facility on a 78-acre plot in Coraopolis.
Dubbed the AHN Montour Health + Sports Medicine Center, this facility will feature 10 turfed, regulation-sized fields, two indoor fields, a 20,000-square-foot medical facility and more. It is scheduled to be completed in two phases, with finishing touches expected in 2021.
"We're going to change a lot of lives. A lot of young athletes' lives are going to be changed because of this complex," Hounds owner Tuffy Shallenberger said at the event. "Not only soccer, but lacrosse, rugby, all the alternative sports ... this is going to just enhance those sports more."
The AHN Montour Health + Sports Medicine Center will serve as a one-stop-shop for youth players all the way up to the Hounds' professional team. The pro team will use it as a practice field, while the Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA), which annually trains more than 5,000 soccer players ages 4-18, will call the new complex home.
"It is with great pride we are building this complex and look forward to the positive impact it will have from youth to professional athletics in our region," Shallenberger said.
In addition to the playing surfaces, the facility will offer a wide, comprehensive range of clinical programs and walk-in primary care with extended hours, open seven days a week. Per the Riverhounds, some of the offerings include "orthopaedic and sports medicine services, physical and occupational therapy, a concussion diagnosis and management program, and sports performance training."
“There is no doubt in my mind that this sports complex is going to be something so unique for this region, and for our country actually,” Highmark Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Dan Onorato said at the event.
The first of two construction phases is set to begin in summer 2020.