By Richard Cook
Ross Township financial specialist David E. Martin first proposed the idea in early September. Martin even went so far as to create a Facebook page where fans could add their suggested venues. The page has had over 17,000 hits, Martin said.
The Pirates' Senior Director of Communications Brian Warecki said that a number of logistical obstacles remain.
"The difficult hurdle to overcome for home games is the significant impact a large outdoor event on the North Shore or in the downtown area will have on traffic and parking when the team plays at home during the postseason," Warecki said. "We have to consider the substantial impact it will have on the infrastructure and experience of the more than 40,000 fans coming to and leaving the ballpark."
Martin said that there are plenty of viable options, including Heinz Field, Point State Park, the Roberto Clemente Bridge (which closes for Pirates home games), and CONSOL Energy Center, just to name a few.
Timing is critical. The team and city planners have to consider what impact thousands of extra baseball fans would have on traffic, especially if a playoffs game is played in the afternoon.
"We will continue to explore the options available to us," Warecki said. "That includes the possibility of hosting events in or around the ballpark while the team is potentially playing on the road this postseason."
What do you think of the idea of an outdoor screen for the Pirates playoffs? Where would you think is the best location? Tell us in the comments section below.