Following a six-seeded playoff sweep, the Pittsburgh Steelers started 2006 off in style with a Super Bowl victory against Seattle. Following the victory in Tampa, the championship team returned to Pittsburgh for a parade and rally through the streets of downtown. This marked the first time in more than 25 years that the Lombardi trophy returned to the Steel City.
On July 11, 2006, Pittsburgh hosted its fifth Major League Baseball All Star Game, the first at PNC Park. The game brought together the biggest names in Major League Baseball for a spectacular night of big hits and great plays. Prior to the All Star Game, Pittsburgh and PNC Park hosted the annual Home Run Derby. These events showed baseball fans everywhere why PNC Park is widely considered one of the finest baseball fields in the country.
Our region was also honored with a number of prestigious rankings in 2006. Pittsburgh was named amongst the nation’s 25 Bargain Destinations, according to Expo Magazine’s annual review of affordable cities. Pittsburgh was touted as an easy-to-walk, safe city with amenities such as the Cultural District, a variety of low-cost carriers and the free subway system.
Additionally, Pittsburgh was ranked one of the Smartest Places to Live in America by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Based largely on its affordability, cultural and leisure activities, education options and quality housing, Pittsburgh was declared the ninth smartest place to set down roots.
Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood received the Urban Pioneer Award in 2006, one of three national awards by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. South Side was recognized for transforming its economy while preserving its history.
Pittsburgh was also ranked the 3rd Best Mid-sized City for Art Lovers, according to readers of AmericanStyle magazine. The city was noted for its four Carnegie Museums, as well as its "emerging glass" status.
The Travel Channel ranked the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's dinosaur collection as among the Best Museums for Dinosaur Sightings. Ranked sixth in the nation, the museum was recognized for its “impressive Tyrannosaurus” and the “best collection of long-necked and tailed sauropods.”
Child magazine ranked the Carnegie Museum of Art #5 in the nation and one of the 10 Best Art Museums for Kids. In a first-ever data-driven survey to assess the family friendliness of American art museums, criteria taken into consideration for the ranking were the tours, kids’ and family classes, educational programs for school groups, staffing, accessibility of the exhibitions to kids, and other factors that add up to create a memorable museum experience for families.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh received the Silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in March 2006, making it the largest Silver LEED-certified museum in the country. The Museum also received the 2006 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Architecture. Koning Eizenberg Architecture of Santa Monica, CA, and Executive Architect Perkins Eastman of Pittsburgh, PA, received this honor for excellence in architecture - considered the highest recognition of works in the field - for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh's expansion, completed in November 2004.
Kennywood Park was voted the 2nd Best Amusement Park in the country by readers of Theme Parks magazine, and the Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland was deemed to have America’s Best French Fries and America’s Best Hot Dogs according to the AOL CityGuide.
Pittsburgh International Airport once again received recognition for having one of the best airports in the country and scored top honors in three out of five airport categories. Airport Revenue News, a leading trade publication for airport retailing, announced that Pittsburgh International Airport had won among mid-sized airports in the trade magazine’s prestigious annual Best Concessions Poll. The categories the Airport won were: Best Concession Program, Most Unique Services and Best Overall Concession Program.