My Travels – MLB Stadiums: PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates (July 4, 2012)

On the 4th of July, Kara and I left Cleveland and drove to Pittsburgh to take in a game at PNC Park. I will say that this is probably the best season in the past twenty years to watch a Pirates game because they’re actually relevant this year. Not only are they relevant but they were in first place coming into the All-Star Break! Throw in a great American city of steel workers, like Pittsburgh, and it was the perfect setup for a patriotic day at the ballpark.

We loved our visit to PNC Park as we crossed it off our bucket list. Here’s some of what you might want to know if you’re planning a visit…

  • PNC Park is right next to Heinz Field (home of the Steelers). Translation: lots of parking space but crappy roads and congestion around the two parks.
  • Like Three Rivers Stadiums, its predecessor, PNC Park is located right next to the riverfront. It has a beautiful view of the yellow bridges crossing into the city and a walk along the river is a promising experience.
  • Is it a rule that you can’t be a major sports team in Pittsburgh unless your team colors are yellow, black, and white? Those are the exact colors of Pittsburgh’s three franchises: Steelers (NFL), Pirates (MLB), and Penguins (NHL).
  • The ticket prices haven’t inflated to reflect this season’s success. We got first row tickets at eye level with the players in left field. It’s a beautiful park and Pittsburgh did a great job of giving clear sight lines of the riverfront.
  • Be careful if you take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to get to Pittsburgh. It can get tricky going eastbound into the city. There are limited exits, if any at all, so heads-up.
  • The highway exit system around PNC Park was very similar to Cleveland with a quick and easy exit away from the ballpark.

If you’re in Pittsburgh around the 4th of July, stay down by the riverfront for late night fireworks. That’s the one part we weren’t aware of ahead of time but it still didn’t fit into our travel plans. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Pittsburgh and wish we could have stayed longer. However, we started westbound away from Pittsburgh and home to Busch Stadium. Thirteen stadiums down, seventeen to go!

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