Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
19 miles/25 minutes to PNC Park
WHERE TO STAY?
Unlimited Budget - all options are within walking distance to PNC Park
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott- North Shore
Moderate Budget – all options are within walking distance to PNC Park
Double Tree Hotel & Suites – Pittsburgh
Chaser Budget Traveler – both options are within 2 miles of PNC Park
Days Inn- Pittsburgh
WHERE TO PARK?
The north side of PNC Park offers several parking lots and paid garages. Parking ranges from $12-$20 on the North side of the stadium. If you are coming in from the East, West, or South side of PNC Park, Ballpark Chasers suggests parking downtown Pittsburgh and walking over the Clemente Bridge. The bridge provides a great view of the stadium as well as parking lots starting at only $5!
Ballpark Chasers Tip: look out for Station Square and let their Gateway Clipper Shuttle boat take you across the Allegheny River. Parking at Station Square is typically $6 and the round trip ticket on the Gateway Clipper is $10.
WHERE TO EAT?
As the locals say, you can’t come to Pittsburgh and not stop for a sandwich at Primanti Bros. They must be doing a few things right since the first Primanti’s opened as a street vendor during the Great Depression! Don’t be fooled by thinking you can grab a sandwich inside PNC Park. You need to experience an actual Primanti’s restaurant (the closest is on Market Pl- a 1o minute walk from PNC Park). When your sandwich comes topped with French fries and coleslaw, don’t be scared, it’s amazing!
Two other restaurants that are highly recommended by Ballpark Chasers are Atria’s Restaurant & Tavern and Mullen’s Bar & Grille. Atria’s is another local favorite with seven locations in Pennsylvania, one of them being located on the grounds of PNC Park. They have a diverse menu, offering everything from steaks and seafood to pasta and chicken dishes. Mullen’s, on the other hand, is just one block away from the ballpark and is a great Irish-themed sports bar with plenty of televisions to watch your favorite team. It’s one of those “neighborhood” restaurants to hang out in and hear conversations about their towns beloved Steelers and not so beloved Pirates.
Once inside the park, look no further than the Hall of Fame Club Restaurant. This sports bar is located just beyond left field and offers 20 flat screen televisions, an outdoor patio and bar, an amazing menu and a great view of the field. The Hall of Fame Club is exclusively for ticket holders and will open on game days 30 minutes prior to the main gates. For a quicker option, head over to the third base side for Pops Plaza, a food court with a variety of options. Our favorites include Chickie's and Pete's for their famous crab fries and Chicken-on-the-Hill for their sandwiches. Try the Ballpark Chasers meal which includes a beef gyro from Papa Dukes (Section 117), crab fries from Chickie's and Pete's (Section 132) and a local micro-brew of your choice from Beers of the Burgh concession.
WHERE TO BUY TICKETS?
Despite having a beautiful ballpark with not one bad seat in the house, the quality of talent on the field overrides and makes PNC Park in the bottom third of Major League Baseball attendance. For the first time in ten years, the team increased ticket prices for the 2012 season. Tickets can be easily purchased online, through the Pirates box office or with your favorite ticket broker. If you choose to buy your tickets before the game, the Pirates offer a designated ticket reselling area between Heinz Field and PNC Park (at the corner of North Shore Drive and Dorsett Way). This is a great way to find tickets from fans and therefore bargains are easy to come by. Keep in mind that scalpers are required to buy and sell outside of this designated area.
WHEN TO GO?
Pittsburgh is a city that experiences four very distinct seasons. Summers tend to be warm and humid with frequent cloudy days that quickly turn into rainy days. May is traditionally the wettest month while August and September tend to bring less rain with warm and sunny weather. PNC Park is an open-air ballpark, so don’t forget to bring a light rain jacket.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE?
Make sure to arrive at PNC Park early in order to check out Highmark Legacy Square, located inside of the Left-Field entrance. This interactive exhibit pays tribute to the Negro Leagues, with special attention given to the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays. Plan on spending between 30-45 minutes to view the life-size bronze statues, interact with the video wall, watch a short documentary and brush up on your Negro League history through a photographic timeline.
Another sports related attraction in Pittsburgh is within walking distance of PNC Park. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, located within the Heinz History Museum, offers an amazing collection of historical artifacts and exhibits, all related to Pittsburgh’s rich sports heritage. With more than 70 youth and adult interactive exhibits, audio/video programs and a two-story theater, Ballpark Chasers recommends this spot for more than just fans of Pittsburgh sports.
Before leaving town make sure to take a ride up the Duquesne Incline for one of the most “romantic spots” and “most beautiful views” in the country (according to MSN and USA Weekend Magazine). Open 365 days of the year, the Duquesne Incline offers Spectacular views of the downtown skyline, PNC Park, Heinz Field and the famous three rivers of Pittsburgh. A $5 ticket will get you parking, a round trip ticket in the antique car and a self guided tour of the machinery room ($2.50 for children ages 6-11). Ballpark Chasers will make an afternoon out of it by staying up top for a meal at one of the many restaurants on the top of Mt. Washington.
BALLPARK CHASERS VACATION?
PNC Park is part of “The Rust Belt” Ballpark Chasers vacation. This trip includes seeing the Indians at Progressive Field and the Tigers at Comerica Park. Those Ballpark Chasers looking for a longer vacation also include Cincinnati to see the Reds play at Great American Ball Park. On average, the drive from PNC Park to Progressive Field takes 2 ½ hours, while Progressive Field to Comerica Park takes three hours. Make sure to have a comfortable car as it is nearly a five hour drive back to Pittsburgh from Detroit.
If your trip to PNC Park is a quick one and you need a closer option, head down south to Washington, Pennsylvania, home of the Wild Things. The Washington Wild Things are an independent baseball team that is part of the Midwest’s Frontier League. Another close option to see semi-pro baseball and check off another ballpark is in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The Altoona Curve play at Blair County Ballpark, about a two hour drive from PNC Park. This is a must for Bucs fans as the Curve are the Pirates Double AA affiliate.
Last updated by Ballpark Chasers.