Thunderbirds Announce New Partnership with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, will host Madison at Highmark Stadium on June 3rd

March 16, 2022

The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds today have announced a new partnership with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Pittsburgh’s professional soccer team competing in the top tier USL (United Soccer League).


The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds pull to the Minnesota Wind Chill in a post-season game at Highmark Stadium in 2016. Photo Credit: Hannah Phillips

The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds today have announced a new partnership with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Pittsburgh’s professional soccer team competing in the top tier USL (United Soccer League).

The deal for the Thunderbirds includes one AUDL regular season game at Highmark Stadium, which will be played on Friday, June 3rd at 7pm against divisional rival Madison Radicals. This is a change from the previously announced schedule which had the Thunderbirds playing the Radicals on Saturday, June 4th at JC Stone Field.

The agreement, which spans the 2022 calendar sports year, also includes cross-promotion between both teams, team specific ticket discount offers, and a Riverhounds SC intra-squad half-time exhibition show to be played on Saturday, May 14th at a Riverhounds SC home match.


Pittsburgh Thunderbirds fans cheer as the home team would go on to win the semi-final match-up vs the Minnesota Wind Chill 20-18 in 2016 at Highmark Stadium

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC was founded on March 11, 1998, by Paul Heasley. In 2004, Heasley sold the Riverhounds, and the team subsequently underwent a number of venue and ownership changes before landing at Highmark Stadium for the 2013 season. Current owner Tuffy Shallenberger took control of the Riverhounds and Highmark Stadium in 2013.

The last time the Thunderbirds played at Highmark Stadium was in 2016 during the Midwest semi-final play-offs against the Minnesota Wind Chill. The Thunderbirds would go on to win that game 20-18 in front of 550 fans. “Players and fans still talk about that experience, playing right along-side the river,” says General Manager of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Andrew Gardner. “The atmosphere that stadium provides unleashes an energy unlike no other, and we’re so excited to be able to return to Highmark Stadium for another game.”

The partnership aligns well with the Thunderbirds existing partnership with Allegheny Health Network, a member of Highmark Health, who also returns to the sideline for their 3rd season as the official athletic training and medical service team of the Thunderbirds.

Calling the game from the press box overlooking the Monongahela River in 2016, Thunderbirds live-stream announcer Matt Weiss reflected on what it would mean to return to Highmark. "That playoff game against Minnesota was the way it should be!" comments Weiss. "I would love to call games in Highmark Stadium, and I think I would have an easier time getting some of my non-ultimate playing friends to come out if it were at that venue. It just makes a difference!"


Max Sheppard attempts to elevate for the disc against the Minnesota Wind Chill in 2016 at Highmark Stadium | Photo: Jeff Gamza

Tickets for the Friday, June 3rd game at 7pm against the Madison Radicals can be purchased in a season ticket plan by visiting the Thunderbirds ticketing website. Single game tickets will go on-sale at a later date.

The Riverhounds SC are set to play their home opener this weekend on Saturday, March 19th against Hartford Athletic at 7pm at Highmark Stadium. Fans of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds now receive a special ticket discount for the home opener by going to the dedicated ticket offer page here.