I have been attending Pirates games at PNC Park for the entire fifteen years of the Park's existence, and I thought that I had pretty much experienced everything that the place had to offer. Last night, though, I found out that I was wrong, because last night was our first experience here:
Yep, we sat in the "All You Can Eat" seats, a first for us. I will explain about how that came about in a bit, but first, a word or two on the experience. The All You Can Eat seats are in sections 201-205 down the right field line. Very good seats, and, as the picture shows and the name implies, you get a wrist band and access to a concession area that pretty much allows one to go hog wild when it comes to stuffing yourself. Between the two of us last night, Marilyn and I consumed (and I am not necessarily proud of this) 3 cheeseburgers, 1 hot dog, 1 order of nachos, 2 orders of peanuts, 2 boxes of popcorn, 2 ice cream sandwiches, and 6 soft drinks (beer is NOT available as an All You Can Eat item, although you don't need to go far to buy some). We figured that if we were to make equivalent purchases and regular concession stands at PNC Park, which we would not do, we would have spent over a hundred bucks on food and drink alone.
The tickets cost $45, and I am guessing that an equivalent ticket for those sections would cost in the $20-$25 range. So you pay a premium for all the "free" food, and I am sure that the Pirates are not losing money on this promotion, but, C'Mon Man, you should have seen what some of the OTHER people in our section were packing away.
No wonder we have an obesity problem in this country.
As to how we came about those tickets, our nephew George, his wife Claire, and their children, Lizzie and Andrew, were on a trip from their home in Socorro, New Mexico that covered State College, PA, London, England, and Pittsburgh before returning to Socorro. They wanted to see a Pirates game and wanted seats in the first row of the upper level, so George ordered the tickets, including the two for Marilyn and I, not knowing that he was getting in on the All You Can Eat bonanza.
So the real bonus was not all the grub, but being able to spend some time with these two and their parents at a major league baseball game.
Of course, unless you are a Cubs fan, that game last night (a 5-0 Cubs win) was an absolute bomb of a game. Long, drawn out, boring, and an awful showing by the Buccos. Andrew and Lizzie learned an important lesson early in life about sports: When you buy a ticket to a professional sporting event, you are probably going to be entertained, but there is no guarantee of it.