Kevin McClatchy said he was afraid that his efforts to keep the Pirates in Pittsburgh would be jeopardized if his homosexuality became public.

The former Pirates owner told Pittsburgh television station KDKA that he stayed in the closet in part to ensure a financing deal for PNC Park would go through. The new stadium, which opened in 2001, helped keep the franchise from moving.

“We were in a tenuous position. I mean from the day we got there in ’96 we spent four years trying to get funding to get PNC Park built. I didn’t think it was a good time to come out and try to make a statement," McClatchy said. "And the whole time getting PNC Park and opening it up, I just thought (coming out) could have derailed everything we were trying to do. I could not take that chance.”

McClatchy stepped down from the helm of the Bucs in 2007. He came out last September. He told KDKA it was "frightening" to live in secrecy.

"You go to a dark place, and I had been there a few times. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone,” he said.