Did you know? Fun facts about PNC Park

January 16th, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- There are plenty of things you probably already know about PNC Park.

For starters, it’s always in the conversation -- if not leading the conversation -- when you talk about the best ballparks in America. It is a beauty, located in the North Shore neighborhood with a perfectly scenic view of the Allegheny River, the Roberto Clemente Bridge and downtown Pittsburgh’s skyline.

You already know it’s been the home of the Pirates since 2001, that it hosted three straight National League Wild Card Games from 2013-15 and that it hosted an All-Star Game in 2006. You know about the statues of baseball icons surrounding the park and the balls that have landed in the river beyond the right-field wall.

Just for fun, or if you ever want to stump your friends with ballpark trivia, let’s dive into a few fun facts you might not know about Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

What are the ballpark dimensions?
It's 325 feet down the left-field line, 389 feet to the left-field power alley, 410 feet to the deepest point in left-center field (the North Side Notch), 399 feet to center field, 375 feet to the right-field power alley and 320 feet down the right-field line. The distance from the seats behind home plate to home plate is 51 feet. The playing surface is 96,750 square feet (or 2.2 acres) of Kentucky bluegrass.

How high are the outfield walls?
Six feet in left field and left-center, 10 feet in center field and 21 feet (for Roberto Clemente) in right field.

How far is home plate from the Allegheny River?
The shortest distance from the plate to the river is 456 feet, down the right-field line.

What is the seating capacity?
As of 2020: 38,747.

What is the highest attendance for a single game?
For the regular season: 39,933 against the Tigers on April 13, 2015.

For the postseason: A record 40,889 fans for the 2015 NL Wild Card Game against the Cubs on Oct. 7, 2015.

What is the record attendance for a single season?
During their 98-win regular season in 2015, the Pirates drew 2,498,596 fans to PNC Park for an average attendance of 30,847.

Who built PNC Park, and how much did it cost to build?
The ballpark was designed by HOK Sport (now known as Populous) and L.D. Astorino and Associates. The cost, including land acquisition, was $262 million.

When was the first game at PNC Park?
The first regular-season game took place on April 9, 2001, an 8-2 win for the Reds over the Pirates on the day Pittsburgh legend Willie Stargell passed away.

Who threw the first pitch in a game at PNC Park? Who had the first hit? The first home run? The first strikeout?
Todd Ritchie threw the first pitch, a ball, to Barry Larkin. Then Ritchie bounced back to finish the at-bat with the ballpark’s first strikeout. Pittsburgh native Sean Casey had the first hit and home run later that inning: a two-run shot off Ritchie. Jason Kendall had the Pirates’ first hit, a single.

Who has the most hits, home runs and RBIs at PNC Park?
Three questions, one answer: Andrew McCutchen. The former face of the franchise unsurprisingly claims the records for most hits (751), homers (92) and RBIs (357) at PNC Park. Second on those lists are Jack Wilson (612 hits), Pedro Alvarez (62 homers) and Jason Bay (241 RBIs).


Who has hit the most home runs in a season at PNC Park?
Brian Giles, who hit 18 homers for the Pirates at home in 2001. For the sake of comparison: Ralph Kiner (31 in 1948) holds the single-season mark at Forbes Field, while Stargell (1973) and Giles (1999) were tied for the Three Rivers Stadium mark, with 24 homers at home in a season.

Who hit the longest home run at PNC Park?
Sammy Sosa on April 12, 2002: a 484-foot blast out to left-center field.

Who has the most pitching wins, appearances and strikeouts at PNC Park?
Paul Maholm is the wins leader, with 36. Durable reliever Tony Watson holds the appearances mark by a considerable margin, with 242. And Maholm is also the strikeouts leader, with 383 -- only 12 more than Francisco Liriano.

What is the Pirates’ record in home openers at PNC Park?
The Pirates are 9-11 in their home openers at PNC Park entering 2021. They won five straight from 2014-18 and lost four straight from 2005-08.

What were the longest games ever played at PNC Park?
The longest game, by innings, took place on May 27, 2006, against the Astros. The Pirates won, 8-7, in 18 innings.

The longest game, by time, took place on April 2, 2014, against the Cubs. The Pirates won, 4-3, in 16 innings that took five hours and 55 minutes.

How many times have the Pirates shared the North Shore?
We won’t count 2020 for this exercise, because the lack of fans at the ballpark due to the COVID-19 pandemic removed the charged atmosphere that might typically accompany a day with two sporting events taking place at PNC Park and Heinz Field.

But between 2001 and 2020, the Pirates shared the North Shore with the Pittsburgh Steelers or University of Pittsburgh football team on 31 occasions, according to the Pirates’ records – seven times with the Steelers, 24 times with Pitt. Of those, the Pirates and Steelers teamed up for a North Shore sweep three times while the Bucs and Pitt did so seven times.