Monday, June 27, 2011

A Park Designed For Fans

As part of our coverage of the Red Sox series in Pittsburgh, our crack reporting staff took a tour of PNC Park. The most impressive aspect of PNC is that it was clearly built with the fan in mind. It has no seats facing away from the action—as a huge chunk of Fenway's right field does. It has wide, comfortable seating—even in the 'cheap seats' (which compared to Fenway means every seat). It has cup holders everywhere, it has no sight line obstructions at all. I would place it just behind Safeco Field in Seattle and AT&T Park in San Francisco as the third best ballpark in America. Looking into the outfield, its celebration of the Pittsburgh cityscape is nearly perfect. It is a gem.

Our genial tour guide, Dave (pictured here with a Sox fan), told of the one splash hit into the Allegheny River in the stadium's history, the light standards meant to replicate the ones at old Forbes Field, and the long history between the Boston and Pittsburgh franchises (the first World Series was played between the two in 1903).

But mostly, PNC is an aesthetically appealing blend of comfort, breathtaking setting and fan-centric amenities that delivers an experience that is light years ahead of what we get in the re-tooled 99 1/2-year old Fenway Park. I still contend that we deserve better.