Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Swept Up by Pirates Fever This Is the Time of Year When Pirates Attendance Begins to Lag. Success, However, Is Producing Box Office Paydirt

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Swept Up by Pirates Fever This Is the Time of Year When Pirates Attendance Begins to Lag. Success, However, Is Producing Box Office Paydirt

Article excerpt

Technically, the Pirates' doubleheader Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals was not a "sellout."

There just weren't any seats left to sell.

The rare doubleheader, made necessary when the Pirates-Cardinals game on April 16 was rained out, became a popular pick as soon as it was scheduled.

But because of the team's liberal ticket-exchange policy -- which allows season-ticket holders to trade unused game tickets for future weekday games -- the only tickets available at the PNC Park windows were "standing room only."

"A lot of our season-ticket holders traded for this game," Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki said before the games started. "Let's say you skipped an April game -- your ticket already counted in April, so we can't count it in our official count today.

"So we may announce a crowd of 34,000 or whatever, but we do not declare that a sellout. So, unfortunately, even if it ends up being our largest crowd ever, it won't qualify as a sellout.

"We sold approximately 1,800 SROs for today," Mr. Warecki added. "There is a limit to ensure we maintain a great experience for the fans in the park."

The official announced attendance was 33,861.

Still, as far as the fans on Federal Street were concerned, it sure looked like a sellout.

Michael and Cindy Mullins of Sewickley had come to the ballpark windows with hope that a pair of seats might come available.

"We weren't doing anything and thought we might be able to score two," said Mr. Mullins, 55, a hospital worker.

Tuesday night, it didn't happen, and they weren't in the mood for standing all evening.

"We'll go home and watch it on TV with instant replay and all the beer I can drink," Mr. Mullins said. "We'll catch a game another night."

Malik Miller, 16, of Tanglewood, had heard the last available seats were gobbled up Monday. But he was happy to grab a $14 standing-room-only ticket. …

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