Itinerant Fan

PNC Park guide Pittsburgh

PNC Park

Our guide to PNC Park in Pittsburgh includes information on events, tickets, parking, public transportation, nearby hotels and restaurants, seating and more. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your gameday experience.

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However you feel about Pittsburgh’s sports teams, it’s hard to come up with a bad thing to say about Pittsburgh’s sports venues. All centrally located, easily accessible and modern, they make it easy for fans to take in live sports in the Steel City.

But while Heinz Field and PPG Paints Arena get plenty of praise in their own right, the kindest words are often saved for PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The splendor of Pittsburgh’s ballpark is visible even to folks watching Pirates games on TV, as the tremendous view of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, the Pittsburgh skyline and the Allegheny River give it one of the most picturesque settings in baseball. 

Go to a Pirates game and you can experience first-hand what gives PNC Park a frequent presence at or near the top of most MLB best-ballpark lists. It’s certainly one of our favorites, but the view beyond the outfield fence is only a part of the reason why.

For more on visiting Pittsburgh, check out our Pittsburgh sports travel guide.


One memorable moment at PNC Park

After a prolonged playoff drought, the Pirates finally found success in 2013 and qualified for the National League wild-card game, in which they hosted the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Helped by spirited Pirates fans who helped rattle Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, Pittsburgh won easily and advanced to the NL Division Series.

The approach: Getting to PNC Park

PNC Park is located across the river from downtown Pittsburgh in a neighborhood known as the North Shore, aptly named because it’s on the north bank of the Allegheny River. Though the three rivers that flow through the central city area can make Pittsburgh’s streets difficult to navigate for the uninitiated, the good news is the ballpark is fairly easy to spot and not that much harder to get to.

Your driving route and parking options actually vary greatly depending on where you’re coming from. Most visitors — certainly those arriving via Pittsburgh International Airport — reach downtown via Interstate 376, as northbound drivers go through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and emerge to see the downtown skyline right in front of them.

Those coming in this way might find it easier to exit downtown via Boulevard of the Allies/Liberty Avenue and find parking on the other side of the Allegheny, and then walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge (Sixth Street) to the ballpark. In fact, this is what the Pirates suggest on their website. Click this link for a list of downtown parking lots, which as of the 2019 season carried a game-day rate of $6.

There are plenty of parking lots surrounding the ballpark and in nearby blocks on the North Shore, but getting there can be a challenge unless you are approaching from north of the Allegheny. If you’re driving, you may see signs for I-279 and “North Shore” and think that will get you closer to the ballpark, but the route will take you more than a mile east of it before your first opportunity to exit. 

Public transit options also exist for fans trying to get to the game. Pittsburgh’s light-rail service known as the “T” is convenient for fans coming to PNC Park from south of downtown, as well as visitors staying in a downtown hotel; it’s free for any passengers boarding downtown and riding to the North Shore. The North Side station is just across General Robinson Street from the ballpark’s home plate entrance.

And for a uniquely Pittsburgh way of getting to the game, consider taking a riverboat. The Gateway Clipper runs service between the Station Square dock (on the other side of the Monongahela River from downtown) and PNC Park for $10 round-trip. 

Pittsburgh hotels near PNC Park
Residence Inn Pittsburgh North Shore – 0.1 miles away
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pittsburgh North Shore – 0.1 miles away
Hyatt Place Pittsburgh North Shore – 0.2 miles away
Search for more Pittsburgh hotels on Booking.com.

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The build-up: Things to do around PNC Park

The opening of PNC Park, as well as Heinz Field, in 2001 helped quickly make Pittsburgh’s North Shore a happening place to be, and additions to the neighborhood over the years have only enhanced its destination status. Not only are there numerous restaurants and bars to enjoy before a game at PNC Park, there are also several hotels for visitors to stay in that are convenient to the ballpark.

For the nearest selection of pregame establishments, look just west of the ballpark to North Shore Drive, a road that connects the park with Heinz Field. The selection of restaurants on this street range from casual (Burgatory) to high-class (Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse), and from sports-themed (Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36) to sports-centric (McFadden’s). 

Also look to Federal Street, which leads to the Clemente Bridge, for a handful of bars that cater to baseball fans, most of them just across the street from the ballpark’s east entrance.

Rather explore a little culture? A number of Pittsburgh points of interest, including the Andy Warhol Museum, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Science Center, are within a short walking distance from PNC Park as well as many of the hotels on the North Shore.

And if this selection of activities doesn’t do it for you, head across the Clemente Bridge to downtown and the nearby Strip District for an even larger selection of restaurants, bars and attractions.

Pittsburgh restaurants near PNC Park
Mullen’s Bar and Grill – pub, 0.1 miles away
Mike’s Beer Bar – American, 0.2 miles away
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse – steakhouse, 0.2 miles away
Search for more Pittsburgh restaurants on Tripadvisor.

PNC Park Pittsburgh Pirates

Photo credit: John Parker

The ambiance: Watching a game at PNC Park

The PNC Park experience begins well before you pass through the entry gates, especially if you’re crossing the Allegheny from downtown on foot. The Clemente Bridge is closed to vehicle traffic on game nights, allowing Pirates fans to stream across freely and take a peek into PNC Park’s seating bowl as they approach.

If you’re downtown and haven’t gotten your bearings yet, know that Sixth Street leads to the Clemente Bridge. Two similar spans linking downtown to the North Shore, similarly painted gold and similarly named after historical figures from Pittsburgh (Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson), are farther east, but you can walk west along the riverfront after crossing them to get to the ballpark.

Press Pass Collectibles

There are four statues of Pirates greats at each corner of the ballpark, each in front of an entrance gate. Roberto Clemente, naturally, is next to the Clemente Bridge, his gate leading to center field. Willie Stargell is in front of the left-field gate, Honus Wagner is at home plate, and Bill Mazeroski is in right field.

Built in the prime of retro-ballpark construction, the ballpark was designed to have an old-timey feel, appropriately enough for a franchise that is more than a century old. Exposed steel is just about everywhere you look, and PNC Park’s footprint is relatively small compared to its MLB peers, so even seating in the upper deck feels like it’s on top of the field. 

If you want to take in that great view of the Clemente Bridge and downtown skyline throughout the game, find seating along PNC Park’s third-base side — the closer to home plate you are, the better. But there are other spots worth spending some time in. Similar to its neighbor Heinz Field, there’s a large ramp turret near the left-field foul pole that Pirates fans use as standing-room viewing areas. 

Pittsburgh’s distinctive cuisine is on full display at PNC Park, and it’s worth a stroll around the concourses to see all your options before you get to your seating area. The choices range from well-known restaurants Primanti Bros. (sandwiches stuffed with fries and cole slaw) and Quaker Steak & Lube (wings) to Steel City-specific items such as pierogies, kielbasas and Isaly’s ice cream.

Among bar areas, the Jim Beam Left Field Lounge stands out as one of the ballpark’s gathering points; despite its club feel, it’s open to all ticket holders throughout the game.

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    The Particulars

    Home Teams
    Pittsburgh Pirates

    Address
    115 Federal St.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212

    Year Opened
    2001

    Capacity
    38,496

    Upcoming Events
    All times local
    Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates
    Friday, July 17, 2020
    7:05 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates
    Saturday, July 18, 2020
    7:05 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates
    Sunday, July 19, 2020
    1:35 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates
    Tuesday, July 21, 2020
    7:05 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates
    Wednesday, July 22, 2020
    7:05 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »


    View Seating Chart »