Pirates fans flock to PNC Park for opening day

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKBN) — Monday was opening day for baseball season at PNC Park, which is the home field for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I have heard they are trying to make opening day a national holiday and I am 100 percent behind that,” said Travis Ishikawa, Pirates first baseman.

Tens of thousands of people must agree because they showed up in force at the stadium to watch the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 in the Pittsburgh season opener. The crowd of 39,833 set a PNC Park regular season record.

“It is great. It’s an excuse to see everyone I have not seen in a while and make some new friends. Everyone is a friend. You walk into that stadium and you have 30,000 friends,” said fan Alex Yoder.

“We do this every year, so it’s a tradition,” said fan Mary Nee.

Fans said there are a few key things to make a great pre-game tailgate celebration.

“Have a little beer, a little sangria. Have a piece of chicken,” Nee said.

“Always have to have fried chicken. And then the small sandwiches. As long as you have enough beer, you should be OK,” Yoder said.

And if the food and drinks are not enough, fan Laura Sheaffer offered another way to liven up a tailgate party.

“Cornhole is the best,” she said.

There are a few new additions to PNC Park this year, especially when it comes to food. It is not just the traditional baseball game fare like hot dogs, hamburgers and peanuts. There are a lot of gourmet food additions, many of which can be found at the Rivertowne Inn Suite that sits in left field.

Incidentally, PNC Park was ranked number one on TripAdvisor’s list of Top 10 ball parks in America. It was followed by Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is home of the Baltimore Orioles.

For a complete list of TripAdvisor’s top 10 baseball fields, click here.

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