Pirates in the playoffs is hot commodity for North Shore businesses
Minus the lopsided score and untimely downpour, this was how it was always supposed to be.
Twelve years since PNC Park opened, North Shore businesses say they finally are realizing what they always suspected: Winning baseball is good for business.
“I've worked AFC Championship games, All-Star games, and I've never seen anything like this,” said Harrison Spyke, manager at North Shore Saloon on Federal Street. “It's just insane. We're all saying the same thing over here. Every place is just trying not to run out of everything.”
Many North Shore businesses reported record or near-record profits on Tuesday night when the Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, in the Wild Card playoff game.
They got another windfall on Thursday when the Pirates threw a block party on Federal Street and showed Game One of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on a big screen. Hundreds of fans showed up.
The Pirates lost 9-1 in a game that was over early. A thunderstorm scattered the remaining fans when it rolled through around 7:30 p.m.
Yet, North Shore business owners remained giddy. After years of losing and irrelevance, 2013 is unchartered ground.
Jonathan Erhart, manager of Soho Restaurant, said he tried to figure out in advance of Tuesday's game how many beers the bar would sell that night. He badly underestimated. Before the first pitch, he had to send a van to the beer distributorship on Federal Street and buy an additional 30 cases.
“And by the time the game was over, we were nearly out of that, too,” Erhart said. “If they keep this up, we're going to have to hire more staff. We're already trying to figure out if maybe we can start selling outside, because the bar inside is just packed.”
Across the street at The Pittsburgh Fan sports souvenir shop, Pirates merchandise is flying off the racks, said manager Michael Romano.
“Oh, my God, let's put it this way: I'm taking all my Steeler stuff down. It's all Pirates,” he said. “We've been through Super Bowls, we've been through Stanley Cups — I've never seen anything like this. This is what we've all been waiting for.”
Fans arrived early, in some cases setting up chairs in front of the 15-by-20-foot projection screen more than four hours before game time.
“St. Louis has home field, but the Pirates will know we're out here,” said John Rozell, 24, of Crafton.
“Everybody's been waiting for this for 20 years,” his brother, Mike, 26, said.
Christine Serkoch, Pirates' special events coordinator, said the club wanted to give fans a similar atmosphere as they experienced on Tuesday. She said a team of Pirates employees pitched in, including workers who collected garbage in 15 large bins, then wheeled it inside the stadium to sort for recyclables.
Team officials were trying to determine whether they would set up the big screen for Friday's game, which is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., she said.
If they do, businesses will be ready.
“It's awesome when the Steelers are doing great, but that's just eight home games a year without the playoffs,” Erhart said. “On one (Pirates') home stand this year, we had 11 games in a row. And next year, the excitement is going to be there again. This is huge.”
Chris Togneri is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Burgess’ rivals for Pittsburgh council nomination owe money to government
- Upper St. Clair lawyer pleads guilty to dealing in crack
- Ice cream safe to eat, federal officials insist amid listeria bacteria discoveries
- Western Pa. experts say nonprofit mergers take work
- Montour Trail gets needed updates
- Pittsburgh-area chess club members enjoy competing, teaching game
- Social media tip-offs missed in melee outside Monroeville Mall, security specialist says
- Pew Research Center poll shows most Americans take gun rights over control
- CMU computer ready to take on poker pros in showdown at Rivers Casino
- Newsmaker: Dr. Clifton W. Callaway
- Hearing set for Homewood man accused of killing Lawrenceville resident