PNC Park: Pirates Win!
Went to PNC for a couple of Pirates games on their last homestand (they lost the second game — stupid Padres). Great park, great atmosphere, seems really well run and their aren’t any potholes in the concourses, which makes it feel like you’re not in Pittsburgh.
Coming in from the east (or south), the recommended parking is all downtown. Works out pretty well — $5 parking and a 10-15 minute walk, depending on what garage you ended up in. The walk is also cool as the closer you get to the park, the more fans you’re walking with and then crossing the (pedestrian-only on gameday) Roberto Clemente Bridge makes for a pretty dramatic final leg of the journey.
The views from the park side of the Allegheny River are also pretty good.
- They really play up the pirate theme on the big screen; it’s kind of cool.
- They have this big animation sequence before every game wherein a Pirates-themed galleon is taking on a galleon flying the colors of the day’s opponent. You’d think that should be no contest — pirates should be better seamen than, for instance, Franciscan friars — but it’s still pretty satisfying when the statue of Roberto Clemente hits a flaming cannonball out of the park and drops it right on the bad guys’ deck, sending them and their crew to the bottom of the Allegheny.
- It’s as nice a ballpark as I’ve been to. Destroys the Big A and Dodgers easily, more interesting than Petco or Camden Yards, probably on par with Safeco.
- Most of the fans there seem to think that “Willie Stargell” is the answer to every Pirates trivia question.
- As losing teams go, the Pirates are easy to pull for — they’re bad because management is cheap, not because it’s incompetent.
- And it’s fun watching some of their young guys just starting to get established (Alvarez, Walker, Tabata), not to mention guys who weren’t going to get a chance elsewhere seizing the opportunity (Jones). If they sign Cliff Lee in the off-season, they could win as many as 70 games next year!
- It’s surprising how many fans the Pirates have given that they’ve been “re-building” since 1992. They probably deserve better.