Just a couple weeks back I traveled to PNC Park to watch my beloved Cincinnati Reds take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a Memorial Day matinee. While the Reds lost the game, it was overall an enjoyable trip. Here are some of my thoughts about Pittsburgh highly-touted ballpark.
WHAT I LIKED
--Close to the action: The second smallest ballpark in the majors is the first MLB stadium built since 1953 that only has two levels. The upperdeck is as close to the action as you can get. The press box is above the upper deck and the stadium’s luxury boxes are limited and snugged tightly.
--The view: No doubt one of the best views I’ve seen yet. Sitting on the third-base side of the stadium provides picturesque views of downtown Pittsburgh.
--Concession options: From the Primanti Brothers Sandwiches and Quaker Steak and Lube wings to the Crabfries and extended Sweet Spot Sundae stand the variety of food is great. I also liked the option to spend extra on the souvenir soda and have it include one free refill.
--Outside the ballpark: There are plenty of restaurants and bars located at the ballpark and just outside of it, providing plenty of entertainment and dining options for before or after the game.
--Access to stadium: The Roberto Clemente Bridge takes you right into the stadium and allows plenty of options for downtown parking. It was easy to get on multiple highways within blocks of the stadium.
--Ushers/Team Staff: From the ushers to the ticket office reps, I was really impressed by the kindness and support received from the team’s staff. It was refreshing.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
--High prices: The ticket prices and concessions were above average and surprising for a smaller market like Pittsburgh, particularly for a team that is approaching three decades without a winning season.
--Parking Garages: I hate parking garages anywhere, but the one we parked in and others by we poorly designed and took forever to get out of. It didn’t help that the Pittsburgh Police department did nothing to help direct traffic.
--Historical Tribute: There were some cool statues outside of the ballpark paying tribute to the legends like Robert Clemente and Willie Stargell and a pretty cool tribute to the city’s Negro League roots. In addition, the team did have its retired numbers on display. However, I was expecting more given the rich tradition of baseball in the city.
OVERALL GRADE: 92