In Pittsburgh tailgating ranks high on the list of rituals, especially when it comes to game day. Rain or shine Steelers fans have the need to know where the greatest tailgating parties are taking place, what time to set up, and what they will need to bring to make their tailgating experience on game day the best it can possibly be. Driving in Pittsburgh to one of the many parking lots located throughout the city can be brutal due to heavy traffic, so plans to leave several hours ahead of time to set up your tailgating station is essential when you consider that the Pittsburgh Steelers home games are limited to only a few each season.
Tailgating Traditions, Do’s & Don’ts
Do: Bring a grill, food, ice cold beer, a stocked cooler, Steelers gear, black & gold tableware, music, warm clothes and the game cornhole. This popular bean bag lawn challenge can be found at most every tailgating event in Pittsburgh. Hats and jerseys with the Steelers insignia are a must and they can be seen from miles away by fans displaying their favorite team hoping that the Steelers will come out on top. The greatest food on the planet can be found by tailgaters on game day that includes everything from Pittsburgh’s traditional ham barbecue the popular sausage, onion & peppers on a soft bun. Pittsburgh’s famous for their breweries and ice cold beer is plentiful on game day as is music blasting the black & gold chant or the “Here we go Steelers” song can be heard everywhere you turn.
Don’t: Never forget to bring a football for passing around after you have set everything up. Steelers’ fans know that no game should ever be attended without having the Terrible Towel to show everyone that you mean business when it comes to team spirit. The Pittsburgh Steelers are known by all for the traditional sea of Terrible Towels waving through the air by fans when a positive play by the team has taken place. An instantaneous show of support is highly visible as thousands of fans whip the bold yellow towel through the air. If you don’t own a Terrible Towel you can buy one from the hundreds of street vendors selling them.
Parking Options and Fees
When the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing an at home game they can be found at Heinz Field at 100 Art Rooney Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the North Shore part of the city. They draw in large crowds of tailgaters that flock to North Shore Drive which circles Heinz Field where thousands of parking spaces are located throughout the various parking lots surrounding Heinz Field Football Stadium. Variable fees are clearly posted at each one, and they fill up fast. If you want to avoid the hassle of finding a good spot you can make reservations at one of the nearby garages for a fee. Finding a parking space and setting up at least 5 hours before game time is key when you consider that the parking lots fill up fast and the local traffic is typically backed up during an at home football game, and parking right next to Heinz Field means that you will need to arrive at 8:00 a.m. for a 1:00 p.m. game.
North Shore Drive has four main lots and is as close as you can get to a Steelers home game short of parking on the football field. These lots are typically reserved, but Gold Lot 1 is on a first come first serve basis and the cost is $35.00 for the day. Other parking is available all along North Shore Drive in various lots with posted signs with the prices ranging from $8.00 to $20.00 for the day.
Rivers Casino: Location: 777 Casino Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The casino is just under a mile from Heinz Field and offers 3,800 spaces for game goers. Cost: $20.00.
Stanwix Garage: 11 Stanwix Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Located just 1.4 miles from Heinz Field. Call: 1-888-4-PARKWHIZ for reservations. All day parking: $20.00. Parking is available 5 hours before game time.
Strip District: There are literally 10,000 spaces available throughout the strip. Smallman Street offers several garages beginning at 23rd Street to 12th Street. The garages vary in price from $3.00 to $12.00 for a 24-hour period.
I live just outside of Pittsburgh near Heinz Field and have been a Steelers fan for over the last two decades.