PITTSBURGH - With a view of the Allegheny River and the downtown skyline, Pittsburgh's PNC Park is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful ballparks in America.
Once the 96,750 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass and in-game scenery is added to the equation, for many it would be difficult to find another stadium that compares to the fifth home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
There are even architectural flourishes of Forbes Field lending a touch of nostalgia.
Here’s a scene of PNC Park with the Pittsburgh skyline as a backdrop during a recent Pittsburgh Pirates game against the New York Mets.
-- Michael D. McElwain
Only a few cities can claim a 115-year relationship with the same Major League ballclub.
As for the latest home for the Pirates, PNC Park hosted the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which was the fifth MLB All-Star Game held in the Steel City.
The stadium has a two-deck design, which offers fans a view no higher than 88 feet from the field. Once inside, the venue offers many forms of entertainment that complement the game of baseball.
The goal, according to in-game entertainment supervisor Eric Wolff, is to add to the overall experience of a Pirates baseball game.
The video board located out behind the bleachers offers a plethora of information - all presented in an appealing way - for fans to digest while watching the live game.
The player lineups, video introductions, mug shots, season-to-date statistics, game data, batting order and in between inning games are all displayed. Of course, pirate themes are incorporated, but other artistic flair also is added.
The sound system of the park also can get the emotions flowing for fans as well as the players. In-game crew members work with the players to supply theme music as a Pirates player comes up to bat.
Sometimes, it's always the same year in and year out for a specific player. For others, their Pirates plate music might switch every couple days.
In between innings, fans can view question-and-answer clips, trivia games and several other fan contests.
And video of fans having a great time at PNC Park is always a favorite for the in-game cameramen.
Fans also can interact by sending text messages that may appear on one of the side scoreboards. Stadium officials indicated that they receive 8,000 text messages a game that first go through a computer language filter and then through an actual person who approves every message that is displayed at the park.
Scores from around the league can be thrown up on a scoreboard to give sports fans of the city something to cheer about.
Fans can check in to the ballpark via Foursquare and Tweet out messages.
While at PNC Park, take a look around at the scores, videos, mascot races, trivia session, live captioning and fan interactions spots, and realize someone perched atop of the ball field, behind home plate, is trying their best to turn a visit to lasting memory.
PNC Park will host the Detroit Tigers on June 23, and the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Time's Steubenville-Weirton Community Night is offering an all-inclusive chance to watch the action.
"The community night package that is being offered is just a special and fun way to spend an evening and something area fans will always remember," said Cindy Kotsch, special events and marketing coordinator for the newspapers.
Tickets for the game are still available by visiting the newspaper offices at 401 Herald Square weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by calling (740) 283-4711. The price of a ticket is $40, which includes a seat in the all-you-can-eat section, a Pirates hat, prizes between innings and more. Transportation on a chartered bus is available for an additional $10. Refreshments will be provided on the bus.