The NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Canton Charge regale hoops fans with basketball savvy from a roster stacked with talent looking to play their way into the NBA. Donning the same yellow-and-red color scheme of their affiliate squad, the Charge compete in the East Division of the NBA D-League. The team plays in the Canton Civic Center, where sounds of cheering fans and squeaking shoes echo off of rafters and occasionally create a high-pitched rhythm that the Charge Girls, the team's dance squad, can groove to.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
In the Pittsburgh Alleghenies' first National League game in 1887, the rag-tag squad amassed six runs against the mighty Chicago White Stockings, establishing the team as a force to be reckoned with for decades to come. Today, through more than 130 years, five World Series titles, and four previous stadiums, the Alleghenies—now the Pirates—make their home at PNC Park, where pop flies soar amid views of the Clemente Bridge and Steel City skyline sprawling in the background. Located only 443 feet away—or, by official MLB measurements, 807.3 half-eaten hot dogs—the Allegheny River waits for home runs to splash down after sailing over the right-field wall, which stands at 21 feet high in honor of legendary Pirate Roberto Clemente. Off the field, the stone archways lining the entry-level façade tip their cap to the club's former longtime home, Forbes Field, and an outdoor terrace and riverwalk cool down fans enjoying the game on warm summer nights.
Since 1984, Three Rivers Rowing Association has become one of the largest community-based rowing and paddling clubs in the country, converting neophytes into boating lovers and helping experts hone their form. With the use of two boathouses located on the Allegheny River, the club is home to crews from three local colleges and nine high schools and was named the 2002, 2010, and 2013 Club of the Year from USRowing. In addition to winter and summer rowing leagues, the club runs amateur dragon-boating leagues and sponsors the Pittsburgh Paddlefish, a dragon-boating team that competes at the international level.
In 2009, the Duquesne Dukes men's basketball team put their own spin on the annual March Madness. Defying the odds, the team made an unprecedented run to the Atlantic 10 conference championship game and followed that with its first berth in the NIT since 1994. The resulting whirlwind brought plenty of media attention to a university that otherwise prefers to stay off the beaten path. Sprawled across a serene 43-acre hilltop campus, Duquesne University hosts 16 Division I athletic teams in sports such as soccer, track and field, and women's volleyball, and since the school's inception, the Dukes' colors of red and blue have remained the same, unlike a chameleon that constantly changes its favorite movie.
Guests feast their eyes on the impressive athleticism on display at the Consol Energy Center, home to the NHL's Penguins, arena football's Power, and countless other events. Two LED rings circumscribe the seating bowl, and 800 high-definition televisions of varying sizes pepper the building, ensuring attendees don't miss a single slam-dunk, slap shot, or black eye. Comfy seating cushions rapt fans, boasting widths of up to 24 inches to accommodate wild, celebratory gyrations and pockets filled with packing peanuts.