Disabled While Going to a Baseball Game

Every year, I like to go to at least one baseball game here at PNC Park. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but I love to go for the experience – the views of the city, the food, and just being there, relaxing at having a fun time. A few weeks ago, we had an unseasonably warm week for early May, realized it was also fireworks night at the park, and decided a few days in advance on somewhat of a whim to just buy tickets! And so I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about going to a game as a wheelchair user.

Buying Tickets

I want to applaud PNC Park and the Pirates for how easy they made it for me to buy accessible tickets. I’m always so nervous when I start to search for tickets – never sure if there will be any accessible seats left, since they’re limited in comparison to the rest of the stadium, or how easy (really, how challenging) they’ll make it to identify and purchase accessible tickets, or if they’ll limit me on the number of tickets I can buy at once. Since my sister and I both use wheelchairs, the ticket limiting is often a huge problem – if we both want to go, and are going with a group of friends, we’re often over the max of three or four accessible / companion tickets they let you buy at once (I’m looking at you, Ticketmaster!).

But I ran into exactly NONE of these issues going through the checkout process! On the main page, there was an option to select for accessible tickets that was super easy to find, and as soon as I slid that to yes, they filtered to accessible seats only. There were seats available in all levels of the stadium, and I had no issues buying five tickets together. It was super simple, and I was so impressed.

Getting to our Seats

Parking is expensive at the stadium, so we didn’t even try to park there – some of us got dropped off across the street from PNC Park, and then the rest of the group parked nearby and walked back. Entering was a breeze – the accessible entrance is the same as club-level entrance, so you avoid the long lines that can build up at the main gates. This time, we didn’t actually know where our seats were – we had never sat in this section before – so they sent a staff member to escort us through the stadium right to our seats! Getting around the inside of PNC Park can be a bit of a trek – it’s not an issue for me, since I use a power wheelchair, but just something to be aware of. Having the escort was really nice and made it much less stressful than it would’ve been otherwise.

And our seats were amazing – basically right on the field! I’m always appreciative when there really are accessible seats in all levels, and these didn’t disappoint at all. I especially loved watching the Perogies run right past me during their race! Plus, the view for fireworks was unparalleled. It was such a great night, and I was close enough to really feel like I was in on the action of the game.

Getting Around PNC Park

Like I mentioned, there is a ton of walking within the stadium itself, so it’s good to be prepared for that! But what I love is that for most of it, you have the option of big windy ramp or an elevator to get between floors. Options like this are so key! I like to avoid waiting in line for elevators if at all possible, but someone who uses a manual wheelchair might really struggle with the ramp – so having both is the perfect solution. And even when it’s crowded, I find the concourses to be pretty wide and spacious – I haven’t ridden over anyone’s toes yet!

I’ve never gone to a game alone, so I can’t really say how it would be to navigate ordering food from a wheelchair height, since most of the countertops are higher. But given how accommodating everyone else was, I feel like they’d absolutely work with and accommodate you! I just can’t speak to my own experiences.

All in all, I was really impressed with how accessible and inclusive everything felt at PNC Park! I’ll definitely go back – especially since it started raining before I could get ice cream this time!

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