Magellan Steps Up To The Plate At Pirates' New Ballpark
SANTA CLARA, CA (June 16, 1999) Whenever Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa launches a home run out of PNC Park, the new home for the Pittsburgh Pirates, statistical enthusiasts will have the perfect starting point to measure just how far the dinger travels.
Less than a week after ground was broken on the $209 million facility, the Pirates asked Dick Corporation, a member of the joint venture team managing the project's design and construction, to stake out the exact location of home plate. With Pirates officials and Pittsburgh media looking on, a Dick Corporation survey crew equipped with an Magellan GG Surveyor Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver carefully measured the exact location of what will be the focal point of the Pirates' new home, scheduled to be ready in time for Opening Day in 2001.
Using coordinates developed by the stadium's designer, HOK Sports of Kansas City, the Dick survey crew pinpointed home plate's exact location with the Magellan GPS equipment, which was supplied by Anderson Instruments of Canton, Ohio. While the stake-out was completed in less than 30 minutes, every subsequent step of the ballpark's construction over the next two years hinges on the accuracy of the readings-from the baselines, pitcher's mound, and outfield walls to the seats, concession areas, and luxury boxes.
"The nature of baseball means that fans rely on precise measurements almost as much as surveyors and builders do," says Mike Margolis, Magellan's Northeastern Regional Sales Manager, who assisted with the stakeout. "It's exciting to think that years from now, when then the stadium is filled with thousands of fans, the center of attention will be a spot that was fixed by our equipment."
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a group of 24 U.S. Government satellites orbiting 12,000 miles above sending radio signals to receivers on Earth. Magellan's high-tech GPS receivers, such as the GG Surveyor, work by picking up these satellite signals and using them to determine the user's exact position on land, at sea or in the air.
PNC Park promises to be the most intimate of the new generation of baseball parks, with seating limited to 38,127 fans. While the park will contain nearly 70 luxury boxes, a variety of restaurants, and other amenities, the highest seat will be only 88 feet from the field, providing every fan with an ideal view of the natural grass playing field. The Pittsburgh city skyline will provide a scenic backdrop for the asymmetrical outfield fences.