Once Al joined us, we started heading across the river to the stadium. I took some random pictures while we walked. Here are some magnolia trees and a pretty building. Fun fact: The middle magnolia with the pale flowers is fake! It's actually made of metal, and might be my favorite piece of public art ever.
Before every game, they block off the Roberto Clemente bridge for foot traffic only. The first picture is looking up the Allegheny River at the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson bridges. The bottom-left is the bridge sidewalk crowded with baseball fans. The bottom-right is the top of the stadium peeking out behind the bridge.
The sidewalks are packed because the street was being used for set-up of the post-game fireworks show! Here's a picture of the rows of cannons, followed by a picture of (far to near) Al, Shane, and Al's friend Creighton admiring the equipment.
The air force recruiters were outside the stadium with a VR ride. We have no plans of joining up of course, but Al and I checked it out anyway. I tried to catch Al's excited smile from afterward, but I missed it. Here's his contented/let's get going face with the ride behind him:
Our tickets were free box seats from Shane's workplace. The box is like a hotel room with a balcony of stadium seats and no bed. Check out the posh appointments: (Yes, that's a picture of the bathroom. How cool is it not to have to wait in line at the stadium!?)
PNC Park is one of the most beautiful stadiums! The view of downtown is spectacular. (The sky was doing some cool things that evening.) And as far as the game itself goes, I hear there are no bad seats.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' mascot is a neon-green parrot. Here are some pictures of him being silly/obnoxious on top of the visiting team's dugout box. On a side-note: If you click on the left picture to embiggen it, you can see a guy in the bottom-left corner who is wearing a Steelers jacket. That's the football team. This kind of cross-sport merchandise was a super common sight around the baseball stadium. (There were also plenty of folks in hockey gear.) I guess it makes sense since they use the same colors for all three teams, but I still find it a bit odd.
Speaking of mascots, every baseball game includes a pierogi race. Pittsburgh is so weird! Pierogies; large pasta pockets stuffed with other stuff, usually mashed potatoes; are a local specialty. And between innings near the end of the game, four of them race around the field. My pictures turned out super blurry, so I included one taken by a real photographer so you could see what they look like up close.
What would a baseball game be without concession food!? Delicious, delicious, over-priced junk. The Pirates even have a special section of the stadium where a ticket gets you unlimited food a drinks. Maybe I'll try that sometime... and eat nothing else that day.
Here is a picture of the much-anticipated fireworks! You can see the bridge in the background with the next round already being fired off.
Oh, and the Pirates won, by the way. It wasn't about that for me. I don't like sports generally and don't really understand them. But I enjoy going to baseball games for the atmosphere and the experience! I'll leave you with this parting shot of the stadium, the beginning of the bridge, and a statue of Roberto Clemente.