PNC Park at North Shore
115 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
For ticket information call: 1-877-893-BUCS
Who Plays Here: Pittsburgh
First Opened: March
31, 2001 (exhibition against the New York Mets)
First regular season game: April
9, 2001 (8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds)
Construction began: April
grass - Kentucky bluegrass. the turf was grown at Magic Carpet Turf
Farm in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The sod was planted in August,
1999, and is a blend of five different types of Kentucky bluegrass.
Exactly 96,750 square feet of turf was used to cover the playing
Field level - 18,171
Home Plate Club - 400
Suite level - 1,048
Pittsburgh baseball club - 2,507
Grandstand level - 11,061
Outfield reserved - 1,845
Bleachers - 2,648
Deck seats - 202
Seats at Outback Restaurant - 203
Party Suites - 280
Sport (Kansas City) and L.D. Astorino & Associates (Pittsburgh).
The lead designer for the project was 44-year-old Kansas City native David
Other relatively new ballparks by the same firm include: New Comiskey Park
in Chicago's south side (1991), Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore
(1992), Jacobs Field in Cleveland (1994), Coors Field in Denver (1995),
Comerica Park in Detroit (2000) and Enron Field in Houston (2000).
The firm is currently working on the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati
(scheduled to open in 2002).
Corporation (Pittsburgh) and Barton Malow (Baltimore)
million ($237 million for construction, $25 million for site acquisition)
year lease is probable
The Pirates moved into their new
ballpark in 2001, and it is a gem. From the location to the
sightlines to the layout to the food, it succeeds on just about every
This is the first ballpark with a two-deck design
to be built in the United States since Milwaukee's County Stadium was
completed in 1953. Because of its intimate design, the highest seat is
just 88 feet from the field, giving every fan in the park an ideal sight
line. PNC Park serves as the fifth home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
since their inception in 1887, the most famous predecessor being Three
The total cost of the ballpark was $216 million, plus another $25 million
for site acquisition and another $21 million or so for site preparation.
PNC Park is the result of Forbes
Field II Task Force, established by Pittsburgh
Mayor Tom Murphy in 1995 and made up of 29 business and political leaders
in the Pittsburgh region. Although the city owns the ballpark, Kevin
McClatchy owns the franchise and had a great deal of input into the
project. The stadium is located at the so-called "North Side"
site, one block from the site of Three Rivers, and fits
snuggly into the existing city grid, similar to classic urban parks like
Wrigley and Fenway. In the fall of 2001, the Pittsburgh Steelers
will debut a brand new football stadium - called Heinz Stadium - for home
From it's north
side site, the park provides a dramatic sweeping view of downtown
Pittsburgh. The Allegheny River and Roberto Clemente (6th Street) Bridge
also provide prominent landmarks in the ballpark vista. The brick front,
steel structure, terra cotta tiled pilasters, dramatic masonry arches
along the home plate entryway, and a flat green steel roof evoke memories
of Forbes Field. The archways lead to a public arcade, open year round,
that features shops, restaurants, and a Pirates Hall of Fame. A
glass-paneled second level allows natural light into a 3-story atrium,
adding to a feeling of openness, and helps to light the ballpark's
There are 540 Field Club seats behind home plate and between the dugouts
with access to a private lounge. The vast majority of the seats are on the
field level (26,000 of the 38,000). The upper deck (10,400 seats) is
divided into 2,260 club seats (wider seats, wider aisles, convenient cup
holders, plus 4 party suites for 25-50 fans each) and 8,140 regular upper
deck seats. 4,790 seats are Outfield Bleachers (in both left and right
fields). A terraced picnic area sits right of center. 69 luxury suites are
tucked underneath the second deck.
There are numerous food stands around the ballyard. In particular,
there are two food courts. Pop's Plaza (named after Pirate icon and
fan favorite Willie Stargell) is located in left field, and features
signature items like Willie's Chili, Pops Potato Patch and Chicken on the
Hill. There are also a variety if items such as barbecued ribs,
macaroni and cheese and more traditional ballpark fare. The other
food court - called Smorgasburgh - is on the first base side of the
ballpark, and features a delightful mix of famous Western Pennsylvania
eateries, such as Primanti Brothers, Benkovitz Fish and Quaker Steak and
There is also an Outback Steakhouse in the outfield.
River Walk: The low outfield grandstand yields a panoramic view of the
Pittsburgh skyline and the Ohio river. A spacious area has been left
behind the center field seats which allows fans to absorb this view while
watching the game - this promenade, called the River Walk, also features
concession stands and is open to anyone with a ticket (on non-game days,
it is open to the general public).
Rivers was basically a neutral park with symmetrical dimensions; although it
boosted extra base hits somewhat, it didn't favor any type of hitter. PNC
Park may end up playing neutral as well - it isn't as pitcher-friendly as
Detroit's Comerica Park, and not as
hitter-friendly as Houston's Enron Field.
The park is the smallest in
the majors next to Fenway Park. It has just 38,127 seats, and each of them
provides an intimate view of the field. Seats behind home plate are only be 50
feet from the batter's box, and seats down the baselines are only 45 feet from
1st and 3rd base, resulting in a small foul territory, which helps hitters by
taking some foul pops out of play into the stands.
The deep alleys will put a premium
on a center fielder with range; the infield grass will slow up hot grounders,
reducing the need for infielders with range (and given the Pirates' starting
infield, that is a distinct plus).
benefits: Left-handed hitters would appear to have an edge, as the
short porch in right gives them something to shoot for; but as the fence
is 21 feet in right and 6 feet in left, this may not end up boosting
left-handed home runs. Left-handed power hitters like John Vander
Wal and Brian Giles won't complain. Jimmy Anderson, a lefty who
produces a tremendous number of ground ball outs (a league-hgh 2.96 G:F
out ratio in 2000) may benefit from the move to natural grass.
Who gets hurt: Right-handed hitters have
a long way to go - 386 feet to the alley in left-center and 410 to deep
left-center. The infield grass should slow down some of the fast, high
hops that characterized the turf at Three Rivers. This means that speed
players who use to be able to chop balls through the infield will be hurt.
Kris Benson, who 7-4 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 Three Rivers starts in 2000, but
suffers from a propensity to allow the long ball (he allowed 24 HR in 2000, 15
of them at home), may have some trouble with the short right porch.
Nearly the same location as Three Rivers, on the north shore of the
Allegheny River between the Fort Duquesne and Roberto Clemente (6th
Street) bridges. Left field (E) sits on Federal Street; 3rd base (N) sits
on East General Robinson Street; 1st base (W) sits on East Stadium Drive;
right field (S) sits on River Avenue and North Shore Drive.
Left Field Foul Pole: 325 feet
Left Field Power alley: 386 ft
Left-center field: 389 ft
Deep Left-center field: 410 ft
Center field: 399 ft
Right Field Power alley: 375 ft
Right Field Foul Pole: 320 feet
Backstop: 52 ft.
Foul territory: very small.
- Hall-of-Famer Willie Stargell died at 12:33
am on the day of the ballpark's home opener, April 9, 2001 - he made it to
Opening Day one more time.
- Outside of the ballpark, there are 12-foot statues
of Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner and Stargell on the sidewalk.
- The Pirates use the more spacious third-base
dugout while visitors will use the first base dugout - a different setup
from most other major league ballparks. The Pirates have two large
indoor batting cages, whirlpools, a hydrotherapy room, a weight room, a
training room and x-ray facilities in their state-of-the-art
clubhouse. The visitors have a separate weight room and a separate
- Bullpens are on the field like they were at Forbes
Field, or in modern Wrigley Field.
- There is a ballpark entrance off of the
Roberto Clemente (6th Street) Bridge that leads into the ballpark's main
- A picnic area for up to 300 fans is on top
of the right field stands, and the Brew
Pub is included in Left Field with a 500-person party deck on the roof,
which offers views of the field and of the city.
- An outside terrace (first base side)
features the "Tastes of Pittsburgh", a multi-ethnic cuisine salute
to the diversified neighborhoods and heritage of the city.
- Exactly 96,750 square feet of turf - 2.2
acres worth - was used to cover the playing field.
- Fans arriving by riverboat are greeted with
live music from a riverfront stage.
- The light towers in this new park are also
reminiscent of Forbes Field and are unique from other recent ballparks.
- Two garages across General Robinson Street
from the ballpark will hold 2,000-3,000 cars for season ticket holders.