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Capacity: 38,365
PNC Park

Area of fair territory: xxx,xxx sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: Very small.

 

 

Fences: LCF to RCF - 6 ft

            RCF to RF foul pole - 21 ft

             

Elevation: 730 feet

 

TICKETING
Dugout Boxes $35
Baseline boxes $25
Infield boxes $25
Left/Right field boxes $23
Outfield reserves $16
Deck seating $16
Bleachers $12
Grandstand $16
General Information

Address:
PNC Park at North Shore
115 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
For ticket information call: 1-877-893-BUCS

Who Plays Here: Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
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 8, 1999
Surface: Natural 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. 

 

Seating breakdown: 

     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


Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City) and L.D. Astorino & Associates (Pittsburgh).  The lead designer for the project was 44-year-old Kansas City native David Greusel.

     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). 


Construction: Dick Corporation (Pittsburgh) and Barton Malow (Baltimore)
Owner: City of Pittsburgh
Cost: $262 million ($237 million for construction, $25 million for site acquisition)
Lease: 25 year lease is probable

PNC Park

History

 

      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 level. 

 

      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 Rivers Stadium.

 

     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 games.

 

     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 concourses.

     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.

 

Eateries: 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 Lube.

   There is also an Outback Steakhouse in the outfield.

 

The 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).

 

Analysis

 

     Three 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).

 

Who 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.

 

 

Park Factors

 

Location

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 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.

Seating Chart

 

Dimensions

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.

 

 

Fun Facts

  • 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 batting cage.
  • 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 concourse.
  • 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.
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