Bucs announce ticket sales for early games

March 11th, 2021

The Pirates have laid out their initial plans to welcome fans back to PNC Park this season in a press release sent Thursday.

Tickets for the first 12 home games of the season, including the home opener on April 8, went on sale Thursday, with a restricted presale window for full-, half- and partial-season ticket holders as well as partial flex plan ticket holders and other credited ticket holders.

The second phase of ticketing will happen between Thursday and Wednesday. Tickets will be open for purchase to Pirates suite holders, corporate partners, Pirates social media followers, Pirates.com registered users and others. The club will contact each level during this phase directly with details on dates, times and other information.

Then, on Wednesday, remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public at pirates.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-BUY-BUCS.

The Pirates are rolling out ticket availability on a month-by-month basis for the time being, as capacity limitations could be in flux while vaccines for COVID-19 continue to be rolled out across the nation. To start the season, PNC Park will operate at 20 percent capacity, per the press release.

Pirates president Travis Williams said there will be a number of enhancements for health and safety at the ballpark this season, similar to those executed at LECOM Park during Spring Training. This includes touchless technology, increased space on the concourse and hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the ballpark, among other things.

A big part of those measures is digital ticketing, which is how the initial ticket offerings will be sent to fans. The Pirates will utilize the MLB app and the MLB Ballpark app for delivery and scanning at the ballpark.

For more information, visit pirates.com/tickets.

Big step in a big game
Anthony Alford did it all on Thursday in the Pirates’ 7-5 win over the Orioles, including ripping a homer to the opposite field and taking home on a wild pitch with heads-up baserunning. But his biggest contribution, he said, was a diving play in the outfield, for more than one reason.

With the speedy Jahmai Jones on first base in the third inning, the Orioles’ Cedric Mullins sent a deep fly ball to left-center field. Alford, who has been working hard on his routes with outfield coach Tarrik Brock, showed how much that work could pay off as he blazed to his right, raised the glove high and dove to take away extra bases and potentially a run.

Alford, who is a leading candidate in the Pirates’ loaded center-field competition, had already put a charge into a home run earlier in the spring before Thursday’s opposite-field shot. But two days ago, he said he was wishing for a chance to be a playmaker on the other side of the ball.

“I was thinking, ‘Man, I’d really like to lay out for a ball,’” Alford said. “It just happened to happen today.”

It’s a great sign for Alford, who underwent right elbow surgery after crashing into an outfield wall last season. He was held back from fielding for the first week while clearing throwing protocols, but now he’s back roaming center field and making highlight-reel plays.

“When you go through an injury, especially the one that he went through, and you spend as long as he did rehabbing to come back, then the first time you have to leave your feet, there’s a little bit of anxiety for everybody involved,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “To see him do it, to see him do it with no hesitation, to make the play, I think it checked a lot of boxes for a lot of us.”

Alford’s presence in the outfield is not something the Pirates want to change. The former college safety has a lot of raw speed and instincts when it comes to tracking down fly balls. While he admits his approach to the play that ended his 2020 season was a little reckless -- “That wall is undefeated,” as he put it -- he’s confident in what he’s able to do in the outfield.

“I just kind of have that mindset when I’m in the outfield of, if the ball goes up, I want to come down with it,” Alford said.

Up next
Right-hander Chase De Jong will make his first start with the Bucs when the club welcomes the Blue Jays to LECOM Park on Friday. De Jong, who has a 7.12 ERA in 15 career games (10 starts), came to Pittsburgh on a Minor League deal after making three appearances with Houston in 2020. Right-hander Thomas Hatch will pitch for Toronto, and the game will be broadcast live on AT&T Sportsnet and MLB.TV.