November 26th, 2017
Quick Glance, Scale of 1-10
- RV Friendly – 0
- Parking Cost – $$
- Ease of Parking – 2
- Tailgating – 4
- Security – 10
- Stadium Entrance – 8
- Stadium Points of Interest – 6
- Seats – 10
- Seat Cost – $$$
- View – 9
- Fans – 10
- Stadium Noise – 2
- Pregame/Halftime – 5
- Exiting the Stadium – 2
- Traffic – 5
In Depth Review
Pittsburgh itself and Heinz Field was a wonderful experience. It has it’s new and modern part where the stadium is located, and another section that has that working class, dates back to a small town feel to it.
The people were wonderful and so proud of their city! I received much advice about places to go, things to see, and mostly food to eat. Though we didn’t get to stay long this time, I would love to go back and do a little more exploring there. At the time I thought we might go back for the Bills playoff game. THOSE hopes have been rudely dashed for this year….
While visiting I highly recommend eating at Fat Heads! The food is AH-MAZING. Some tips though! Download and use the Open Tables app, or go early, or be sure you have plenty to wait as it is popular and busy!
Now on to our Stadium Experience! We left from our place in Ruffs Dale PA, where we parked at the KOA Madison/Pittsburgh S.E. It was approximately an hour drive to the stadium. We left the RV at the KOA as there is NO RV PARKING in Pittsburgh. I have also heard from Steelers fans that the nearby hotels jack up the rates for game weekends requiring a two or more night stay and you pay to park in the hotel parking lots! Talk about taking advantage! There were several parking lot tailgates going on as we walked towards the stadium, several had DJ’s, the fans were polite and orderly, but not nearly as friendly and giving as I’m used to in Orchard Park. I did not hear of or see any particular traditions/rituals while walking through the tailgating. Most of the tailgates were small groups of friends/family who tailgating exclusively together rather than inclusively.
Once we arrived at the stadium, security was present and visible, though the fans themselves were not an issue at all. They were fairly well-organized at the entrances and we hardly waited at all to get through the gate, once inside staff presents you with scratchers that award you with various items, drinks, fries, pizza etc. A pretty good deal on the whole!
Outside the stadium we stopped at the Immaculate Reception monument, and inside we visited the Hall of Honor where they offered to take your picture one at a time in front of the wall. It was quite the line there. The concourse itself was extremely crowded and hard to navigate as the pregame DJ was hosting a dance party in the middle of the concourse. I don’t mind a crowd though! The energy of the place was exciting!
Our seats were Section 145 and had excellent view of the field and the jumbotron. Lots of people don’t care for end zone seats, I love them! The fans were polite and proud, I witnessed absolutely no crowd issues. The front row of our section were quite drunk and took of their shirts at halftime, despite the chilly temperature. There were quite a few packers fans present, though their yellow and green and the Steelers yellow and black were close enough that it was hard to pick them out at a distance. Despite how well the Steelers are doing this year, obviously there are still tickets to be had. Food and drink were NFL reasonably priced. The stadium was designed so that crowd noise doesn’t play much of a part of the game. That is disappointing to me, as I feel that aspect helps you feel involved in the game. Pregame show was interesting with the giant “Terrible Towel” as well as a local high school marching band, and halftime they presented new Hall of Honor inductees. Exiting was extremely slow as there is only one escalator per area and no option of stairs that I could see, that’s a design flaw I would hope they would address.
Of course, NO PLACE could ever hope to hold a candle to my beloved Rich/Ralph Wilson/New Era Field! Go Bills! kp