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The Draw of PNC Park

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Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates

I want to take the time to talk about something that I do not think gets mentioned enough in Pittsburgh Pirates’ circles; how fortunate the team and its fans are to have a stadium like PNC Park to call home.

PNC Park is often lauded as one of if not the most beautiful baseball venue in the country. I doubt many Pirates’ fans disagree with such a sentiment due to their bias, but it’s remarkable to see how fans of other teams and the media are often in agreement about the 20-year-old stadium. While PNC does not have the history of timeless venues like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, it is often mentioned in the same breadth as these parks based on its beauty. So, what is it about the stadium that makes so many baseball fans swoon when catching a game there?

I do not think anyone can underestimate the role the Pittsburgh skyline plays in the park’s beauty. The outfield perfectly frames downtown, especially just over right-center field. The lights on the skyscrapers illuminate the night sky during those 7:05 contests in fantastic fashion.

Situating itself along the Allegheny River also does PNC Park wonders in terms of beauty; as the Gateway Clipper and other boats gently drift by during those day games, one might suppose they’re enjoying a sunny river getaway as opposed to a baseball game (the team’s performance during much of PNC’s existence certainly helps that feeling).

The facilities themselves within the park are often talked about impressively; I have had countless conversations with visiting fans who talk about PNC’s cleanliness compared to other parks, its variety of concessions, and even its seating arrangements. It’s not a closed off venue; its open outfield and modest videoboard give it a more inviting appeal as opposed to the coldness of domed stadiums or perfectly circular, walled parks.

What’s your favorite thing about PNC Park?