The Pitt Panthers are hosting in-state rival Penn State this Saturday night for a primetime showdown on national television. It is the most anticipated game on the Pitt home schedule this season and will likely draw the biggest crowd of the year for the Panthers. With all of the buzz and excitement for the third in a four-year revival in the rivalry series with the Nittany Lions, Pitt and Heinz Field are bracing fans showing up for the game to be patient with regard to parking because there is an afternoon baseball game going on that day.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are hosting the Miami Marlins at 1 PM on Saturday, and fans attending the baseball game will have priority status for parking spots before Pitt and Penn State fans start filling the lots. Fans attending the 8 PM football game are being asked not to arrive for the game until 5 PM, and no tailgating will be allowed in the lots from 1:30 to 5:00 PM. That sounds like an absolute disaster.
It seems as though Major League Baseball could have thrown Pitt a bone here by having the Pirates on the road this weekend. Scheduling in baseball can be tricky at times, but the Pitt home game against Penn State was scheduled years before the MLB schedule for the 2018 season was organized. And you know MLB would never dream of having the Pirates at home on the same day the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing at home. MLB does try to take into account concerns like that in multi-sport cities when it can avoid the hassles for their teams and their fans. If this were any other Pitt home game, considering the typical attendance, it may not have been a major problem. But the Penn State game is different because it will draw a nearly-packed Heinz Field crowd to the stadium. This attendance will be as close to resembling a Steelers home crowd as Pitt will get this season, and all fans attending the game will now be inconvenienced because MLB either didn’t care to or think to work around the college football schedule in Pittsburgh.
Fans will still be able to find other parking options in the city, of course, although those lots will not be maintained by Heinz Field and the city of Pittsburgh and it may require a little bit of a walk to the stadium. Fortunately, it’s not a bad walk to the stadium if you are up for it.
In short, college football fans attending the most anticipated home game on the Pitt schedule will have to take a back seat to fans attending a September game against two baseball teams playing below .500 baseball and a combined 38 games out of first place this Saturday.