In 2009, Pittsburgh found itself in the national spotlight once again, beginning with Superbowl XLIII. On February 1, 2009, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL franchise to win six Superbowl titles. Following the victory against Arizona, a parade and rally drew an estimated 300,000 people downtown to congratulate the team.
June 2009 saw Pittsburgh’s second professional sports title with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup in a seven game series against Detroit. Led by Head Coach Dan Bylsma and Captain Sydney Crosby, this boasted the franchise’s third Stanley Cup victory. Once again, the city held a massive celebratory parade with an estimated 375,000 in attendance on the sunny summer day.
During a year of economic upheaval and uncertainty throughout the nation, Allegheny County shined as a region of economic stability. Forbes Magazine ranked Pittsburgh 7th among the Top 10 Cities for Most Affordable Homes, first among the country’s Top 25 Strongest Real Estate Markets, and 6th among the Top 10 Cities for Job Seekers. In addition, Moody Investor’s Services ranked Pittsburgh first in commercial real estate. The region’s stability also led Time Magazine to take notice, naming Pittsburgh “One Economic Bright Spot on Main Street,” and prompting CNN’s Anderson Cooper to beg the question, “Can Pittsburgh Save Detroit?”
ForbesTraveler.com, along with Stamberg Aferiat Architecture in New York, voted Pittsburgh as one of the world’s most stunning skylines.
BusinessWeek chose Pittsburgh as one of the Best Places to Raise Your Kids in 2009, by evaluating criteria, including school performance, number of schools, crime rates, air quality, family income, museums, parks, theaters, and other amenities such as diversity and affordability. Both the Carnegie Art Museum and Pittsburgh Zoo were also ranked as best in their categories in 2009 for children in the country.
In Prevention Magazine’s annual survey of the 25 Best Walking Places in America, Pittsburgh ranked tenth overall. The city had the 3rd most miles of rails to trails, with 19 trails spanning 1,757.78 miles throughout the Pittsburgh region. The survey also factored the number of people who walk or ride mass transit to work, along with the total square mileage of parks.
Our region was home to three separate major motion picture film sets in 2009. The photo (left) shows director Paul Higgins in front of the Allegheny County Jail shooting The Next Three Days, starring Elizabeth Banks and Russell Crowe. Allegheny County also provided shooting locations for Love and Other Drugs, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and Unstoppable, featuring Denzel Washington.
In August 2009, Pittsburgh hosted the annual Forrest Wood Cup, the crown jewel competition for bass fishing. The Forrest Wood Cup boasts the largest cash prize of any competition in the United States and it occurred on our own three rivers, Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio.
In September 2009, the eyes of the world fell on Pittsburgh during the G-20 Summit. The event, hosted by President Barack Obama, joined together leaders from the worlds’ 20 largest economies.
In celebration of the Summit, Allegheny County held an International Sports Weekend, which showcased cycling, cricket, and soccer throughout the county parks.
Additionally, County Executive Dan Onorato conducted tours of the region for officials from the National Association of Counties. And, residents joined the County Executive and Mayor to participate in volunteer clean ups to beautify the region for the world leaders arrival. The Pittsburgh G20 Summit was successful and world leaders enjoyed some of Pittsburgh’s favorite locations, such as Phipps Conservatory and Pamela’s in Millvale.