Ultimate Fan Guide: Our Stadiums
Where to sit, eat, drink and park at PNC Park, CONSOL Energy Center and Heinz Field, according to the city's best bloggers.
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Photos by Dave DiCello
There’s no bad way to see a baseball game at PNC Park. You can slide into a North Shore parking garage and grab a slice of pizza at Vincent’s while watching whatever pregame festivities are taking place on Federal Street. Or you can hop into one of the bars around the park — Mullen’s and Soho are good choices. On weekends, tailgate parties stretch all the way to Heinz Field.
Fans say that every seat at PNC Park is a good seat, and while that’s true, what you’re trying to do can make certain seats better than others. My favorite seats for sitting back and watching the game are the Outfield Reserved seats on top of the right field wall (sections 142-145), as close to the railing as possible. The 21-foot wall gives you a nice perch that results in near-perfect perspective for a baseball game — plus, they’re reasonably priced (usually around $20).
What you can’t do from the outfield, though, is see the skyline. If you’re more interested in taking in the sights, you’ll want something in the infield boxes or the grandstand. Opt to sit along the third-base line, and you’ll have an incredible view for fireworks.
If you didn’t get your food or drink outside the park, there are a million places to go inside. I’m a bit of a hop-head, so I usually make my way to the Beers of the ’Burgh stand across from the Budweiser Bowtie Bar at the end of the concourse down the first-base line. Beers of the ’Burgh is always stocked with microbrews — and if you’re going to pay $7-$10 for a beer, get something good. The food options are endless, but I always try to swing by Manny’s BBQ; on many nights, you can catch legendary Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen hanging out at his signature snack stand, signing autographs and talking to fans.
The best part? The Pirates are almost always better at PNC Park than they are on the road. Even during 2010’s brutal 57-105 year, the Pirates won 40 times at PNC. — Pat Lackey, whygavs.com; illustration by Jordan Merchant
Bar Hopping At and Around PNC Park
When making a night of a Pirates game, there are two guaranteed stops. Park your car down at Rivers Casino — it’s free, except for Friday and Saturday games (and even then, it’s cheaper than most lots). Arrive early and grab a drink at the Drum Bar, or have dinner at Wheelhouse, which is quickly becoming one of the city’s liveliest sports bars. Stroll out the front door and enjoy the easy walk from the casino to PNC Park.
Inside the stadium, your home for pre-game, post-game, rain delays and lopsided blowouts is the Hall of Fame Club under the scoreboard in left field. Take your pick: You can be seated for table service, pull up a stool at the bar or order a drink and wander over to the windows offering a view of the action. The club also offers some pretty substantial (for the North Shore) beer specials after the game.
You can certainly keep the party going at Rivers en route to your vehicle, but you’ll have plenty of options along the way; your trek will take you past McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, Rivertowne North Shore, Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36, and a few more. — Sean Collier
Here’s where you can find local legends in bronze at PNC Park. Make a black-and-gold pilgrimage!
Roberto Clemente: outside the center field entrance, at the end of the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
Willie Stargell: outside the left field entrance, opposite the corner of Federal and Isabella streets.
Honus Wagner: outside the home plate entrance, at the corner of West General Robinson Street and Mazeroski Way.
Bill Mazeroski: outside the right field entrance, at the end of Mazeroski Way.