10 Never Before Seen Facts on PNC Park Pittsburgh

By: Sports Teller


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Which of the 10 Never Before Seen Facts on PNC Park Will Impress You the Most? Those 10 Facts on PNC Park Pittsburgh are…

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10 Never Before Seen Facts on PNC Park Pittsburgh

PNC Park is one of the commercially-acclaimed stadiums every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Pirates venue opened in 2001 and hosted the All-Star Game five years later. Any Pittsburgh fan that bleeds Pirates Yellow will know every information possible, from the team ending their postseason drought in 2013 to Andrew McCutchen winning the MVP Award that season. However, there are new PNC Park facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on PNC Park below!

10: The Left Field Rotunda Almost Had a Roof

The Left Field Rotunda is one of the most popular sights to see at PNC Park. The feature allows fans to walk down the ramps without missing any game action. In addition, fans can watch the baseball game from either the top level or lower level of the rotunda. But did you know that the Left Field Rotunda almost had a roof? It sounded like a good idea since the roof would protect fans from summertime rains.

The concept would also be a place of shelter for ticket holders during either a rain delay or a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, the roof plan did not go through because it would not have made PNC Park as modern and contemporary. Despite a lack of a roof, the Left Field Rotunda is a hit for ballpark goers. 

9: Original Plans for PNC Park included a Life-Sized Pirate Ship

When the Pirates were developing their new stadium, one of the original plans was to actually build a life-sized pirate ship called Pirate’s Cove. The one-of-a-kind ship would have been located between the ballpark and the Allegheny River. Pirate’s Cove would have included a rope-climbing course on the second level and a computer game room on the first floor. By the way, the pirate ship would have been included as part of ticket admission.

Even though the concept received support from team officials, Pirate’s Cove was scrapped likely due to a lack of corporate sponsorship and high costs. Also, the pirate ship was panned by fans and city officials alike, due to the structure being proposed on land rather than on Allegheny River. However, in 2022, a smaller version of the pirate ship was added at the right field concourse as a climber in the children’s area. 

8: A Pirates Entertainment Plaza Near the Stadium is in the Works

There might be extended presence of the Pittsburgh Pirates at North Shore in the near future. In late 2021, there was a proposal of the Pirates getting their own entertainment plaza. The area would be used for restaurants, shops, and even a movie series. The entertainment plaza would also be surrounded by apartments and condos. Perhaps the most significant feature of the proposal is the large Pirates “P” located in the middle of the plaza.

The area would be located across the street from the Honus Wagner Statue near the home plate gate. As of now, there is no timetable in terms of when construction for Pirates Entertainment Plaza would begin. If the plan receives approval, then the concept would enhance the overall gameday experience for the national pastime at North Shore. 

7: Elton John, Styx & Collective Soul Have Played the Most Shows at PNC Park 

It is not uncommon that live show concerts are taking place at baseball stadiums. Interestingly, there are teams that previously hosted live music shows. Those teams were the following: Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Dodgers, Rangers, Cardinals, Brewers, and many more. But did you know that British Singer Elton John as well as American Rock Bands Collective Soul and Styx have played the most shows at PNC Park?

For Elton John, he performed in front of a sold-out crowd in 2010 and will return for his final tour in September 2022. Meanwhile, Styx played at PNC Park twice in the stadium’s history: 2007 and 2012. Finally, Collective Soul played two shows at the ballpark in 2008 and 2010. By the way, most of these shows were not a part of the Pirates’ Postgame Concert Series. 

6: The NHL Considered Hosting the Winter Classic at PNC Park

The Pittsburgh Penguins made a huge presence in the NHL Outdoor Series. In fact, the Pens have appeared at either the Winter Classic or the Stadium Series a total of six times. In the past, Acrisure Stadium (home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers) hosted two such outdoor events involving the Penguins. But what about PNC Park? How come the Pirates stadium hasn’t hosted a hockey game yet? 

At some point during the 2010s, the NHL considered bringing either the Winter Classic or the Stadium Series to PNC Park. The baseball venue would be a great place to host hockey since it was previously held in ballparks like Citizens Bank Park, Dodger Stadium, Coors Field, Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field. However, PNC Park was likely passed over because the NHL preferred the outdoor hockey games to be played at football stadiums. Since football venues have higher seating capacity than baseball, that meant the league didn’t spend a lot of thought on PNC Park but rather at the then-Heinz Field. 

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5: PNC Park was Known for its Out-of-Town Scoreboard, a Rarity in the MLB

PNC Park in Pittsburgh is known for being next to Allegheny River. In addition, the stadium is famous for its modern-style ambiance along with the Left Field Rotunda. But did you remember the out-of-town scoreboard located in right field? This unique feature would show not only the scores from other MLB games, but also tell how many outs and who’s on base.

PNC Park was the first and only ballpark to date to install such a scoreboard. The feature meant so much to the fans as they could watch the Pirates game and keep an eye on their rivals’ scores during a playoff chase. Unfortunately, 2022 saw the end of the out-of-town scoreboard as the feature was replaced by a new video board that showcases team-branded advertising. 

4: Before PNC Park, the Site was Used for Industrial Purposes

Camden Yards occupies a former railroad station, while Wrigley Field sits on the site of the church & priest school. Dodger Stadium sits on the property that was meant for a housing project, while Fenway Park lies on the land formerly used by a garbage landfill. But did you know that before PNC Park, there used to be a site for industrial businesses?

In the beginning, the land served as pieces of wetlands accompanied by the Allegheny River. Later in the 1900s, the site became usable for industry companies like steel mills as well as railroad yards and coal plants. Eventually, it was turned into a parking lot for the Pirates’ previous venue: Three Rivers Stadium. 

3: The Stanley Cup Made a Couple Appearances at PNC Park

Whenever a local hockey team wins the Stanley Cup, they celebrate by having a parade through downtown. But sometimes, the NHL champion would visit a nearby ballpark to bring Lord Stanley and throw out the first pitch. Well, the Pittsburgh Penguins did just that twice in 2009 and 2017. The Pens made their first appearance at PNC Park when the hockey club defeated the Detroit Red Rings in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals.

Eight years later, the Penguins returned to the Pirates’ venue to celebrate their back-to-back championships by beating the San Jose Sharks (2016) and Nashville Predators (2017). By the way, the Pens were not the only team to bring Lord Stanley to a baseball game. In 2018, the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup made an appearance at Nationals Park when the Caps defeated the Vegas Golden Knights. 

2: Honus Wagner Statue Also Stood with Forbes Field & Three Rivers Stadium

Believe it or not, Honus Wagner lived to see all three Pittsburgh ballparks: Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium, and PNC Park. Well, in spirit and in statue form. The Honus Wagner statue near the current venue’s home plate entrance has been in existence since the Forbes Field Days. First, the sculpture began its residency in Pittsburgh via the left field area of Forbes Field.

Then, the structure was relocated near Gate C for Three Rivers Stadium. Afterwards, the statue was moved to its current location at PNC Park. The main reason behind Wagner’s existence at all three stadiums was due to two things: One is that he played for the Pirates for 17 years. The second thing is he led Pittsburgh to the 1909 World Series title

1: PNC Park Reminds Fans They are in the “Steel” City

PNC Park was built in a great location: near the river and next to a football stadium. When the Pirates decided on a new ballpark, they wanted to make sure that fans were in the Steel City. During the construction phase, the team built two major areas of painted blue steel. One is covering the top of the Left Field Rotunda.

The other is located on top of the home plate entrance. Perhaps the main incorporation of steel into the sports scene on the North Shore comes from the Pittsburgh “Steelers.” On the football team’s logo there are three colors: blue for steel, orange for coal, and yellow for coal. Based on that fact, the past from PNC Park’s land lives on in Pittsburgh to this day. 

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