Going to a Steelers game in Pittsburgh? Here are 12 tips to make your Heinz Field outing go as smoothly as Juju’s touchdown celebrations. We’ll cover everything from what you can bring into the stadium, to where to get the best French fries, to how to get on the Jumbotron. Here we go!
What to Wear
Aside from the obvious (Steelers gear), prepare for the weather and wear layers. Unless you’ve snagged Club seats, you’ll be sitting out in the elements for hours. During winter games, wear extra socks and shirts, leggings or thermals under jeans, and warm outerwear. On rainy days, bring a poncho—you may feel silly, but the people who are soaking wet when you’re dry will feel sillier.
Things to Bring
A Terrible Towel is a game day necessity. Carry extra cash—some parking lots and vendors don’t accept cards. On those rare sunny days in Pittsburgh (hello, preseason!), take sunscreen and a set of shades. Hand and toe warmers feel incredible on super cold days. You can even carry blankets into the stadium, as well as snacks in Ziploc bags, sealed non-alcoholic beverages, and items for medical needs.
Small clutches the size of your hand (4.5” x 6.5”) are fine, as well as clear plastic, vinyl and PVC bags that are smaller than 12″ x 6″ x 12.” Security is strict about this, so don’t expect to be allowed in with a larger bag. For Heinz Field policies and rules, check out their website each season. Made in PGH has got your covered with a game-day approved stadium bag!
To park by the stadium, head down early and prepare to pay premium prices. Downtown garages and North Side lots will have increased event rates, but both are in walking distance and should offer some cheaper options. Metered street parking is free throughout the city on Sundays and after 6PM daily if you’re lucky enough to find a spot.
Take the T; it’s free from downtown and goes right to Heinz Field. There are buses to the North Side, but many don’t offer weekend service so check online first. Uber and Lyft are usually surging after the game, so you might want to wait or walk elsewhere before ordering. The Gateway Clipper has a Game Shuttle from Station Square that’s $6 each way if you prefer an aquatic route.
Food & Beverages
There are plenty of bar and restaurant options for pregaming on North Shore Drive if you don’t mind a crowd. Nearby street vendors sell cheap bottled water and snacks, like Peppi’s subs. Inside the stadium, Burgatory has killer French fries and you can even find hot chocolate at certain concession stands. If you’re the designated driver, sign up for a free soft drink at a kiosk near your gate.
Lots open 5 hours prior to the game. As a host, provide clear directions or put up a flag so that your friends can spot you from afar. If you’re a guest, offer to bring something or chip in with cash. Use the provided trash bags to clean up after yourselves. Stage AE usually hosts a free admission tailgate party (indoor and outdoor) that opens 3 hours before game time.
Entering Heinz Field
Any gate will get you to your seat, but it’s usually more efficient to walk outside of the stadium. Find out where you’re going ahead of time and enter the gate that’s listed on your ticket. Leave extra time to get there because the crosswalks and crowds will slow down your pace. You’ll move through security faster if you don’t have a bag or metal items on you.
Seating & Section Etiquette
Always wait until the play ends before walking to your row or leaving your seats. Ask the usher which side of the section is closest to your seat if you’re unsure—don’t be that person who makes 20 people get up for no reason. Be mindful of when people are moving past you. Your cupholder is to your left.
Cheering for the Steelers is a blast, and there will be times where you are actively encouraged to “GET LOUD!” However, that doesn’t mean that you should stand the entire time or scream at the players nonstop. Pay attention to the game and follow noise cues from the announcer, the scoreboard, and your section. When the screen goes black, get ready for Renegade.
Show Off Your Signs
Signs are permitted, so long as they are not profane or on poles. Be careful not to block anyone’s view when the game is in play. If it is your first game, your birthday, or you’re traveling from afar, stop by the Steelers Nation Unite booth outside the stadium before you head in and pick up a free sign.
Get on the Jumbotron
Crazy dance moves, eye-catching attire, and memorable posters are classic ways to end up on the Jumbotron. There are hashtags announced at each game that you can use to try to get an Instagram photo posted up on the board, such as #SNUProud. You can also call in requests for birthday wishes to 412-697-7600 on Monday mornings starting at 9am.
Get ready to have some fun at your next Steelers game! Before you know it, you’ll be navigating through the North Shore and twirling your Terrible Towel like a pro.
This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.