DANNY TRAVELOGUE

Road Games Travel Tips: Stealing away to Pittsburgh

May 31, 2019, 2:00 PM
Follow @dannyoneil...

Week 2, Sept. 15: Seattle at Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field 10 a.m. Pacific

SPONSORED – I entered Pittsburgh through the front door.

It’s the only way to enter the city. Well, not literally. It’s possible to approach from the North via I-279 or to enter from the east.

But if you’re looking for one of the most beautiful entrances to any city in this country, then there’s only one way to go, and it’s also the most convenient, taking I-376 West from the airport and emerging from the Fort Pitt Tunnel to see the downtown skyline fold in front of you.

It’s really quite spectacular, and I still remember driving through that tunnel for the first time at 23 years of age less than a year removed from college. That view was the first sign that while the blue-collar image I had of Pittsburgh wasn’t inaccurate per se, but it certainly didn’t tell you the whole story about the city.

I was born in the ‘70s back when Pittsburgh’s football team was the gold standard of the sport, anchored firmly in the Rust Belt with a downright industrial nickname. It’s a city that is bracketed by rivers, three of them, and overlooked by hills, which provides some absolutely incredible views.
Pittsburgh was the site of my first NFL assignment. I was working for ESPN.com in my first full-time job out of college and I was assigned to cover the AFC Championship Game between Denver and Pittsburgh.

That was a cold January weekend, though, and it did not come close to preparing me for just how pleasant, just how nice a setting Pittsburgh is in September.
Not only that, but this year, when Seattle makes its first trip to Pittsburgh in eight years, the baseball team will get to town two days after the football game, which would make for a pretty enticing double play.

Just make sure you’re prepared to be asked if you want fries in your sandwich?

Not with. In.

It’s a twist that has become a local staple as Primanti Brothers tops all its sandwiches with fries, cole slaw and tomatoes. Onions are available upon request. My favorite: When pigs fly. That’s a turkey sandwich with ham, bacon and a fried egg. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the fries.

Arrival: Alaska Air has a direct flight from Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) to the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is about 15 miles west of downtown Pittsburgh. Bus service is available through the Port Authority, the Airport Flyer boarding outside of Baggage Claim 6 and providing service to downtown Pittsburgh.

Stadium: Heinz Field opened in 2001 as Pittsburgh went from having one of the more generic multi-use parks in Three Rivers Stadium to having a pair of the most picturesque parks. The Pirates’ PNC Park opened the same year as Heinz Field, both stadiums located at the confluence where the Alleghany River and Monangahela River come together to form the Ohio River.

Last time here: Seattle was shut-out 24-0 on Sept. 18, 2011, its most recent game in Pittsburgh. In fact, Seattle hasn’t scored a point in Pittsburgh since 1999. Now, that’s not quite as bad as it sounds. Seattle has only played two games in Pittsburgh in the previous 19 seasons. Pittsburgh shut-out Seattle 21-0 in 2007.

Dining: Primanti Brothers gives you a variety of options. The original location at 46 18th Street has been opened since 1933. There’s also two locations in the stadium itself in the lower East end (Sections 109 and 110) and the lower West end (132 and 133). Union Standard (524 William Penn Place) is a great downtown restaurant that features regional cuisine.

Danny Travelogue

Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

AZ Good AZ it Gets

SPONSORED – Phoenix was the place where the rest of the country found out that Seattle fans took their enthusiasm on the road with them. That was 2013. It’s also the place where I discovered how restorative a desert vacation can be. That was 2015. Let’s start with the screaming. That’s what caught everyone’s attention […]
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

Oh, LA, LA!

Week 15, Dec. 19: Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, SoFi Stadium, 1:25 p.m. Pacific SPONSORED – Maybe it was fitting that the opening act for the first pro-football game I covered in Los Angeles was a rock band I loved as a teenager. There’s no place that makes me think of growing up more than […]
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

Star in a Lone Star Adventure

Week 14, Dec. 12: Seattle at Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 10 a.m. Pacific SPONSORED – Enchiladas and greatness. That’s what I think of in Texas. The enchiladas are pretty straightforward. They’re so delicious at El Tiempo Cantina that it’s hard to take a bite without closing my eyes. There are three locations though the one […]
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

The Best Way to Green Bay

Week 10, Nov. 14: Seattle at Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 1:25 p.m. Pacific SPONSORED – I’ve made this trip any number of ways. I’ve flown in the day of the game and driven up from Chicago. I’ve driven back to Milwaukee through a snowstorm after a playoff loss. I’ve flown into Appleton, and I’ve […]
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

Penn-cil in a Pittsburgh Trip

Week 6, Oct. 17: Seattle at Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field 5:20 p.m. Pacific SPONSORED – The first time I visited Pittsburgh it was January 1998, and I laughed when a football fan tried to explain to me that this weekend with playoff football felt like Mardi Gras. Nope. It felt like Pittsburgh. Freezing cold, snow-on-the-ground […]
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

Go Above and Bay-ond

Game 4: Seattle at San Francisco, Oct. 3, 1:05 p.m. SPONSORED CONTENT – Ever had a friend’s house that seemed so comfortable that you felt like you were at home? That’s how Seattle feels about San Francisco. Well, Santa Clara. Because in the seven years since Levi’s Stadium opened, Seattle has won six of the […]
1 year ago
Road Games Travel Tips: Stealing away to Pittsburgh