Century United Soccer Club, a youth developmental partner club of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Professional Soccer Club, proves to be a catalyst for a sold out home opener and high ticket sales after officially committing to the purchase of an entire seating section for its Club at the new Highmark Stadium. The seating section, which includes 332 seats, will be unveiled as the ‘Century United Supporters Section’ at the sold out April 13th home opener at Pittsburgh’s state-of-the-art downtown stadium in Station Square.
Century United has stretched its reach across Western Pennsylvania over the last two years, providing soccer developmental training to over 1,100 players between the ages of 5 and 19.
Since 2009, Century United has partnered with The Riverhounds Academy to design programs that ensure aspiring and committed youth players are able to gain coaching lessons from both groups, concurrently. This system continues to improve as the Clubs push forward with collaborative efforts to shape positive experiences and create dynamic identification outlets for the area’s youth while creating a comprehensive model that considers the wellness of each player and his/her family.
Three former Century players are current members of The Pittsburgh Riverhounds roster for the 2013 season, including Richie Costanzo, Stefan Lundberg and Mike Seth.
According to Jason Kutney, CEO of the Riverhounds, the ticket commitment from Century United is something that speaks highly of the Club’s direction and focus upon development.
“This is an amazing showing of support from Century and something that deserves incredible attention,” said Kutney. “Our working relationship with Century has evolved wonderfully over the years but this is a major step forward in many ways. This deal solidifies the professional environment Century continually works to shape for its young players through their top facilities, coaching education, and training practices. Larry Guess (Century United President) deserves a ton of praise for acting on such a visionary and interactive measure.
Century United began its support for local professional soccer back in 2011, with ticketing packages for the members of its club to attend games at Chartiers Valley High School, previous home of Riverhounds professional soccer games. The progressive Club used the games as teaching tools, exposing committed youth soccer families to live matches where lessons could be extracted from on-field communication, off-the-ball movement, and post-game interaction with local professionals.
While these ticketing programs provided enjoyable, low-cost evenings for members of Century United over the last two summers, the goal for Century’s Club Directors has been to provide positive learning experiences for their valued members while also showing support for the growth of soccer in Pittsburgh.
Larry Guess, President of Century United, believes that the partnership with the Riverhounds will only strengthen the player development model at their club.
“It is important for our Club to work with a partner that shares our mission for player development and has been successful at implementing a unique technical training program taught by the professional players in our area,” said Guess. “Both Century United and The Riverhounds Academy programs are strongly based in the belief that development is paramount and that winning will be a by-product of proper development. As part of this development, it is vital that our players see the game played at the highest level… something that this opportunity will foster. We look forward to supporting the Riverhounds as they begin their inaugural season at Highmark Stadium.”
Century United will be tasked with distributing at total of 4,500 tickets across their rapidly growing member list so that each family is able to take in several matches during the 14-game regular season at the new Highmark Stadium.
The Century United deal is the largest single-club commitment ever seen by the Riverhounds organization and rivals youth-pro ticketing model only otherwise structured at the MLS level.
Stadium photo credit: Kyle McHenry