The Future of Pittsburgh Ball
For almost a decade and a half, the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh has marked the arrival of a new year. First raised to ring in 2007, the ball is a physical embodiment of Pittsburgh’s dedication to a bright, healthy, and sustainable future for all of its residents.
Highmark originally commissioned and still owns the Future of Pittsburgh Ball. Pittsburgh's own Technique Architectural Products were brought on to engineer and fabricate the ball and its supporting structure. Technique Architectural Products continues to maintain and operate the ball on ever New Year's Eve.
The 1,000-pound ball is just as much a sculpture as anything else — and it is a sustainable piece at that. The outer shell, more than six and a half feet in diameter, is made out of 3form Ecoresin™, a non-toxic material created from post-consumer content. More than 1,000 high-efficiency LED lights arranged in the shape of Pittsburgh's three rivers give the ball its iconic sparkle and glow. And the platform and framing that hold the ball aloft are all made of recycled steel.
In the two minutes it takes the ball to rise, it climbs nearly 75 feet into the air, perching it over the city streets below. In those final minutes the ball's light show gradually increases in intensity. And, right as the clock strikes midnight, the Future of Pittsburgh Ball touches its apex, signifying that yet another year has come and gone.
While Highmark First Night Pittsburgh may look a bit different this year, the tradition of raising the ball will stay the same. Make sure to tune into KDKA at 11 PM on Thursday, December 31st to catch all of the night’s performances and activities. And, of course, to see the ball rise for one more year!