I went to PNC Park yesterday with Amy and Olivia. Amy had an orientation for the 2012 season, and Olivia and I walked around the exterior of the stadium, and took note of what subtle changes we could see. In two days, this place is going to be packed, but today, it was a ghost town.
We began at the corner of Federal Street and General Robinson and walked towards the Clemente bridge. The Pirates main offices are located there on the right:
We stopped at the Center Field gate and peered in, but there wasn’t much to see. It looked like it does on Sunday mornings when there is no BP.
The Clemente Bridge was a sight for sore eyes. Beside proposing to Amy on it on Valentine’s Day, it’s also the place of many pre-game throwing sessions with fellow ballhawks.
Did you notice all of the leaves on the trees? The tulips are in full bloom too.
By the way, while we’re talking about trees… Check out the General Robinson side of PNC Park.
All of those trees, every one, is DEAD. I thought for sure they would be replaced after last year. Am I the only one that has noticed? They are decaying, moldy, and all obviously dead and dried out.
Anyhow, Olivia and I made our way to the left field gate and peered in.
It looks pretty much the same except for a large Rally Pass booth. In 2012, when you spin the prize wheel, you’ll pick your prizes up right there. No more walking over to section 101 to get your prize. That area has been made into a bar. You’ll really notice it when you walk up the stairs from the Clemente Wall area to the main concourse. The open air above your heads on the stairs is now covered by a floor which makes up most of the bar.
Also, the Pirates, replaced an old crappy bland scoreboard that announced upcoming games with a more classy looking ‘Home of the Pirates’ sign above the Center Field / Clemente statue gate:
It was time to go down to the Riverwalk.
Oh wait, it was closed.
Oh well, we went down anyhow.
But the riverwalk really was closed. Fences had been erected in the spot where PNC ballhawks usually do pre-BP ballhawking, waiting for balls to bounce out:
The fences were put in place because the riverwalk was being replaced. New cement slabs were being put in.
We walked back, took in the Clemente bridge from below:
And walked across the Clemente bridge to get a better view of the stadium:
One thing that you may not be able to tell in the picture above is that the tops of all of the trees in the picnic area and along the riverwalk for that matter had been cut off:
This was done undoubtedly to keep the city skyline unobstructed.
We walked back and around to the Mazeroski statue,
and passed the right field garages which were all opened and reeked of smoke.
There had been a fire in the laundry room. Cleaners had washed mop heads and dryer sheets and a fire broke out. There were charred uniforms in the garage. The uniforms were for workers, chefs and the like – I didn’t see any player uniforms that were burned. I learned all of this from a boss who was on his cell phone talking about the insurance, and that they had a $100,000 deductible, and that they were having a fire restoration team come in, yadda yadda yadda.
It was nice to be back at the park after months away.
There’s only 2 more days until Opening Day, and tomorrow there is an Opening Day ‘preview’ batting practice, so I should be snagging my first baseball of the 2012 season sometime tomorrow afternoon. Check back soon! And also, you have until Sunday to win a Justin Morneau shirt!