We visited PNC Park on a perfect summer afternoon in June 2019. What struck us most about PNC Park is how the park was built to highlight it’s amazing view. From every seat in the ballpark, you get the most amazing views of Pittsburgh. So here are our top tips for visiting this stunning ballpark.
1. Don’t plan on going into the ballpark when the gates open
I know, I know…usually I will recommend going to the ballparks as soon as the gates open to explore the ballpark, but for this particular stadium the pregame fun is really outside the stadium.
We entered as soon as the Center Field (aka Clemente) gates opened 2 hours prior to the starting time, and found out that only a small walkway of the ballpark was actually open to the public until 90 minutes before game-time. I wish we had stayed outside and explored more of the Roberto Clemente Bridge or Water Steps with the kids instead.
2. Walk over the Roberto Clemente Bridge
To get to the game definitely walk from Downtown Pittsburgh by way of the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The views of the city are spectacular, and the amazing vibe of Pittsburgh is at its best before the game. Plus the bridge ends at the amazing Roberto Clemete statue by the center field gate entrance.
3. Take the kids to the Chevron Stem Zone
Located by the Right Field Gate, this kid zone has had an amazing VR Homerun simulator that the boys played A LOT. They also loved the pitching metrics cage, where their could log the speed of their fast pitch.
There is also a Kids Zone that has a miniature PNC Park and a playset for kids to burn off some energy for kids under 10.
4. Watch the Great Pierogi Race
At the bottom of the 5th inning, makes sure you are in your seat to see the Great Pierogi Race. It’s such a fun Pirates tradition.
5. Enjoy the Pittsburgh Pirates Fans
Pirates fans are passionate, and a whole lotta fun. Case in point…
Towards the end of the game, we took the boys to look around the stadium. We stopped by the observation area by the bullpens. There was a Pittsburgh fan that was just annoying the opposing team’s pitcher the entire time he was warming up. No cursing, or name-calling, just badgering the pitcher saying “Well buddy…that’s ball 98.” Then at the next pitch, “Come on man, you’re in the big leagues now…ball 99.” Without missing a beat he looked at my boys and said, “How else is he going to learn?”
Boom. Love it.
6. Raise the Jolly Roger
We were lucky enough to see a home team win, so at the end of the game the Pirates Raised the Jolly Roger! It’s a fun tradition that the fans really get hyped up for. My boys loved seeing the Pittsburgh Parrot running the field with the Jolly Roger at the end of the game.
While we enjoyed the stadium, I would say the best part of the ballpark isn’t the stadium itself, but the city skyline and the Pirates fans themselves. This is a city that lives for their sports teams, and it makes going to the stadium a fun experience.
The best part of the PNC Park is its breathtaking views. As you are watching the game, you’ll suddenly find yourself saying “wow” . Then you’ll realize you said that because your view just shifted up a little and you’re blown away once again with the magnificent cityscape.