Your ticket to the AFC Championship game
Published: Friday, January 16, 2009
So, you're one of the lucky ones who landed tickets to The Game. You know where you'll park your behind, but how are you gonna get it there• Based on game-day traffic on the Fort Duquesne Bridge, many fans drive themselves. Here are options.
An informal survey of parking-lot operators found the cheapest ticket is with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority. Fans can park for $5 in any of the authority's lots, according to Anthony Boule, the authority's director of administration. You can find the link to the authority's home page at www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us.
Alco Parking Corp. owns or manages about 10,000 parking spaces close to Heinz Field and will charge $40 a spot, Alco President Merrill Stabile said. Go to alcoparking.com to find lot locations. Network Parking Co., which operates the most of the lots in Station Square, charges $10, a spokeswoman said.
By bus/light rail
Port Authority will run extra bus and rail service Sunday. Regional routes will operate trips from their respective park and ride lots beginning 2 1/2 hours before kickoff, with the first bus arriving at Heinz Field 90 minutes before the start of the game. Trips will operate every 15 to 20 minutes. The agency will provide extra T service on routes 42S South Hills Village via Beechview and 47L Library via Overbrook. These rail routes will provide frequent service from several park and ride lots along the T. Fans will be able to take advantage of frequent service via the East and West busways. Go to www.portauthority.org or call 412-442-2000 for route details.
If you're feeling adventurous and don't mind a cold breeze, the Gateway Clipper Fleet will operate five boats between Station Square and Heinz Field. A round-trip ticket costs $10, the same as during the regular season, a spokesman said. Call 412-355-7980 for details. You can take a Pittsburgh Cruise Line water taxi. Those interested can find the ferry service under the Clemente Bridge beginning three hours before kickoff, according to a recorded message on company's phone line at 412-221-5466.
Jerry Campolongo of Pittsburgh Transportation Group, which owns Yellow Cab, said 15 to 20 vehicles typically are out for repairs at any given time, but the North Side-based company is pushing to get all 300 ready for the weekend.
Classy Cab -- which operates a high-end car service -- will have all 12 of its Mercury Montegos and Chrysler 300s available, manager Bobby DeLucia Jr. said. The company charges a $5 flat fee, then $2.45 per mile, DeLucia said. The cars will make runs to Heinz Field from many Downtown hotels Sunday.
Some people are opting to arrive in style. Officials with Star Limousine, A-1 Limo and Amore Limousines said about half of their fleets have been booked. Rates can vary -- on average, prices ranged from between $300 and $850 -- depending on type of vehicle, number of passenger and length of rental. "We can haul from one person to 30 people," A-1 Limo owner John Finnigan said.
Molly's Trolleys is cutting its rates on game day from $155 to $100 an hour, with a three-hour minimum, according to a company spokeswoman. No additional taxes or gratuity are included.
Even if you don't have tickets to The Game, you still can twirl your Terrible Towel in a sea of black and gold at local sports bars. Here are five choices, each offering a unique atmosphere and plenty of game-day specials.
Jerome Bettis' Grille 36, North Shore
Bettis' Grille features all the "bells and whistles" of a true stadium experience, assistant manager Missy D'Ambrosio said. "You get to feel like you're at the game," she said. "Except that you are in a 72 degree building rather than a zero degree stadium." Patrons can watch the game on any one of 41 52-inch high-definition TVs, she said. Doors open at 10 a.m.
Mullen's Bar & Grill, North Shore
Mullen's features more than 40 TVs, including two projection screens, and plenty of seating for those not going to the game, director of operations Scott Stanley said. "We find the bar thins out during the game, and we want to let people know that's an opportunity for them to come down," he said. "So when (the Steelers) win the championship, they'll be right here on the North Shore when it happens." Patrons can win prizes during timeouts and commercial breaks by correctly answering Steelers trivia questions, he said. Doors open at 11 a.m.
Buckhead Saloon, Station Square
If you want to get to know out-of-town Steelers fans, visit Buckhead's, assistant manager Mark Hensler said. The bar and restaurant's proximity to the Sheraton makes it an excellent hangout for Black & Gold devotees from across the nation, he said. "I worked last Sunday (during the Steelers-Charges game), and I talked to people from Florida and Wisconsin," Hensler said. "A lot of them were spending their first time in Pittsburgh." The game will be shown on the bar's 12 plasma LCD TVs and four projectors. Doors open at 11 a.m.
Carson City Saloon, South Side
For a true born-and-bred Pittsburgh experience, visit Carson City Saloon, manager Frank Vetere said. "We were rocking the last few Steelers games," he said. "We will be packed. There is no better place to watch the Steelers game than here." Last Sunday, the bar hit its 196-person capacity and had to turn people away, he said. The game is shown on seven large plasma-screen TVs and a 100-inch high-definition projection screen. Doors open at noon.
Primanti Brothers, Harmar
Those looking to escape the Downtown game-day hustle and bustle -- and traffic -- could escape to Primanti Brothers in Harmar. Manager Denise Underwood said a big crowd shows up to watch the game, but there's no wait to get seated. "It's a good place, because you can sit back and relax," she said. "We have a lot of TVs any where you look." There are 17 big-screen TVs surrounding the dining area. Doors open at 11 a.m.Additional Information:
Not watching the game?
The region doesn't shut down just because the Steelers play. It only seems that way.
Plenty of alternatives exist -- and chances are you won't have to wait in line.
• Take in a movie
Shot locally, 'My Bloody Valentine' is a re-imagining of the 1981 horror flick about the lone survivor of a coal mining accident looking for revenge. This time around, set 10 years later, new murders surround the fictional town of Harmony. 'There are lots of locations that you can tell it's a real location, not just a set,' said Jessica Conner, assistant director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. 'They don't say Pittsburgh in the film, but looks wise, everything looked really good.' The movie also will be shown in 3-D at select locations around the city. Go to www.fandango.com for locations and times.
• See a show
'Jersey Boys,' the 2006 Tony Award-winning musical about Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famers 'The Four Seasons,' is the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. 'It's a fantastic show with great music,' said Veronica Corpuz, spokeswoman for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 'If folks weren't able to get seats for the other performances, they can still give it a shot before it moves on to another city.' Although limited, tickets ($34.50-$127.50) still are available for Sunday's 7 p.m. performance at the Benedum Center, Downtown, Corpuz said.
• Strike out
The lanes of the local parkways no doubt will be jammed before and after the game, but the lanes at Arsenal Bowling at 44th and Butler streets in Lawrenceville should be clear. 'When the Steelers were on last week, the lanes were slow,' owner Paul Buncher said. 'People were at the bar during the game and got back on the lanes after the game was over.' Get there early. A special -- $8 all-you-can-bowl from 9 p.m.-midnight with a DJ taking requests -- usually brings people inside after games, Buncher said.
Ski and snow tube at Boyce Park in Monroeville, which opened its ski area yesterday. Manager Tom Mettrick expects the ski area to be busy Sunday afternoon but didn't make a guess on night skiing because students don't have school Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 'You never know what's going to happen, but I have a TV here, so I'll get to watch it,' Mettrick said. The ski area will be open Sunday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m. Ski rental is $8.75. Admission ranges from $4 for children to $14 for adults.
• Dance the night away
Learn to tango with the Pittsburgh Tangueros, which hosts an hourlong practice at 6 p.m. every Sunday at the Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square. No prior tango experience is necessary. 'Learn the pleasure of expressing music with your feet or the beauty of having another person in your arms,' dance instructor Jerry Minshall said. Admission is free.
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