Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers, Pirates Aim for Parking Shuffle Sunday Games Could Snarl Traffic

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers, Pirates Aim for Parking Shuffle Sunday Games Could Snarl Traffic

Article excerpt

The Steelers, Pirates and Pittsburgh police are hoping to choreograph an elaborate and orderly tap dance Sunday between the 1:35 p.m. baseball game at PNC Park and the 8:30 p.m. football game at Heinz Field -- the first time since the stadiums opened that a regular-season Steelers night game follows a daytime baseball game.

Steelers fans are being urged to wait until 6 p.m. or later if they are driving to the North Shore, to allow baseball traffic and parking lots to clear, but they will have plenty of options if they want to arrive earlier.

"It's a big sports day for the city of Pittsburgh. This will create a unique experience for both teams' fans," Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said at a briefing Wednesday. "We're encouraging our fans to be upfront and courteous to everyone involved. That includes the Pittsburgh police, Pirates fans and anybody who is working or attending both games."

Hoping to avert traffic and parking gridlock between games, police plan to close all inbound access to the North Shore (except for emergency vehicles) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., including ramps from the Fort Duquesne Bridge, West End Bridge and Parkway North.

Steelers fans with presold parking passes will not have access to those lots until 6 p.m. But if they want to attend the Pirates game or start tailgating early, they can get in by paying the baseball parking fee.

Pirates fans who park in the lots that are presold for football will have to leave after the baseball game or risk having their vehicles towed.

The Pirates complete their home schedule Sunday with a game against Cincinnati before an expected sellout crowd on Fan Appreciation Day. Only standing room tickets remained for sale Wednesday.

"As we have done in the past, we are working closely with the Steelers, ALCO (parking), the police and all other parties involved to ensure as smooth of a transition as possible," Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki said in an email. "Due to this cooperation and coordination, we do not expect our fans will be greatly inconvenienced as the standard parking procedures still apply for the Pirates game. …

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