Kennywood, Steelers partner for new attraction, record-breaking coaster
Next year, you’ll be able to grab your Terrible Towels and experience Kennywood Park’s largest expansion in the amusement park’s 120 years.
Kennywood on Thursday announced it is partnering with the Pittsburgh Steelers for a new themed area called Steelers Country.
The area will be located on the site of the former Log Jammer ride and nearby picnic pavilions and include the much anticipated and record-breaking new coaster, Steel Curtain. The coaster’s name pays homage to the Steelers’ legacy.
“This is going to be a crossroads for Kennywood, expanding in such a way with a high-intensity roller coaster,” park spokesman Nick Paradise said. “It’s what our fans have been clamoring for for a long time. So we’re really happy to deliver it to them.”
The West Mifflin park hinted on social media over the past few months about stats for the new coaster, which is set to have a record-breaking nine inversions, a 197-foot-tall loop and a maximum height of 220 feet. The coaster will zip across 4,000 feet of track at 75 mph.
Designed by S&S Worldwide, the ride will hold the titles of tallest inversion in the world, most inversions of any roller coaster in North America and tallest coaster in Pennsylvania when built.
Park officials said the area would open next year.
Paradise couldn’t put a dollar amount to the park’s addition, but called it the park’s largest expansion in its 120 years.
When completed, Steelers Country will include indoor and outdoor dining areas, football-themed games and other football-related experiences.
Leaders called the collaboration between the Steelers and Kennywood unique.
“What we really liked about it was a couple of things — the great connections to family traditions, which are a big part of our brand as well,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers vice president of sales and marketing.
“It’s also going to expand the introduction of football in a different way — in a fun, modern way. We’re really excited about being in this environment and continue to be part of Pittsburgh’s traditions.”
Huzjak said the Steelers and Kennywood are “pioneers” because it’s the first time an amusement park has partnered with a professional sports team for a permanent project.
“The hardest part was keeping it secret, and we did a good job of that,” Huzjak said. “We hoped people would be excited about the partnership.”
The expansion will be a boon for the Mon Valley, said state Rep. Austin Davis, D-McKeesport, whose district includes West Mifflin.
“Kennywood is a big tourist attraction for the Mon Valley, but it’s a big economic generator,” Davis said. “It employs a lot of people who live in the district and the greater Mon Valley region. But adding this roller coaster and area only furthers the importance of Kennywood to … the Mon Valley.”
Davis referred to himself as a “huge Kennywood fan,” adding that he was saddened by the loss of Log Jammer but excited about the new addition.
“I have a lot of memories here as a child growing up,” he said. “The Log Jammer held a lot of special memories for me, so I was sad to see it go. But I’m glad to see they are making way for a great new attraction.”
He referred to Kennywood and the Steelers as “timeless” icons in Western Pennsylvania.
“You don’t think of Allegheny County without thinking of the Steelers or Kennywood,” he said.
Bobby Cherry is a Tribune-Review
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