PNC Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

General Impression: Upon writing this blog entry, this will have been our third game, and fourth trip overall (I toured PNC Park as well), and after out latest trip it will read much different than previously. This is one of our favorite MLB parks. Smaller than most, but the perfect size for the Pirates current fan base. It has one of the best views in all of baseball with the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh in the not to far distance, and the Roberto Clemente bridge in the foreground. It is (now) well kept, with employees walking the concourse and cleaning even during the game. The downtown locale is a perfect spot if you want to find a hotel room, walk to the game, and enjoy a couple of days in P-Burgh. Due to the size, the upper deck isn’t really all that ‘upper’, but most of the time there are seats to be had in the lower bowl so why trek up there?

Food and Libations: As with many of the other modern parks, there is a wide variety of food options at PNC.  In the left field corner, on the main concourse, is an area known as ‘Pops Plaza’, named in honor of Pirate great Willie Stargell.  There you can find Nakama, Chicken-on the-Hill, Pub 475, Familee BBQ and Chickie’s & Pete’s.  On the opposite end of the main concourse is ‘Smorgasburgh’, and there you can find P-Burgh famous Primanti Brothers as well as Quaker Steak and Lube!  In between the two areas are stands with the usual ballpark fare, so if a hot dog or nachos are what you’re looking for you’re sure to find it.  Beer was of the Budweiser variety at most stands, but IC Light was on tap at Primanti’s and one other stand along the main concourse had Miller Lite as well.  There is a ‘Beers of the Burgh’ stand, featuring craft beers from the Pittsburgh area, in the Smorgasburgh section as well.

Parking: As PNC is situated in the stadiums section of Pittsburgh, its sister stadium Heinz Field right up the road, there are many surface lots around the stadium.  That being said, the one that I did see was $20 to park your car for the afternoon, a bit pricey but you’re a captive audience if you drive to the game.  For our three games at PNC, we’ve always stayed at an area hotel and walked.

Programs/Scorecards: Free as you come through the gate.

Complaints/Gripes: Before our last trip to PNC I would have filled this section up with lots of negative, but they turned my opinion around.  This is a very nice ballpark, one of the nicest, and there was a point a couple of seasons back where it wasn’t being taken care of like it should.  It was dirty, unkempt, and unfriendly, and if not for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in 2012 we may not have gone back after our experience there in 2010.  We did go back though, and are happy to report that the upkeep is there now.  With that, I have no complaints about PNC.

Yes/No/Maybe: Geographically, Pittsburgh is a little difficult for us to get to.  A six hour drive from home, and a long drive at that, may make this answer be an automatic ‘no’.  The ballpark being what it is though (one of the nicest) will change this to a very strong maybe; a place that we would, in fact, go out of our way to get back to.

Pictures: Pictures on Tim and Jill’s Travelogue

This page was created on May 9, 2012

 

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