With the Pittsburgh Riverhounds set to start their second season since moving into Highmark Stadium at Station Square, they announced some potentially sobering news Thursday.
According to the Riverhounds, the partners that own and operate the USL Pro soccer club and Highmark Stadium have voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Hounds’ official press release says the move is intended to help restructure debt obligations incurred during the construction of Highmark Stadium on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Riverhounds majority owner Terrance Shallenberger said in the release that the team will continue normal operations while attempting to function “as lean as possible.” He said no staffing changes are anticipated.
The Hounds will begin their USL Pro season Saturday at Orlando; their home opener at Highmark Stadium is set for Apr. 12.
The Riverhounds were founded in 1999 and have played on several area fields over the years, but Highmark Stadium is their first true home. The team averaged over 3,000 fans per home game last season, its first on the South Side.
Highmark Stadium, which seats 3,500 and is equipped for future expansion, was built in 2012 and 2013 using private funds with the help of a city tax credit. The Riverhounds have been upfront about their Major League Soccer aspirations, but it’s clear their immediate financial health is priority No. 1 at this point.