Finding Shaded Seats at PNC Park

Between June and August, Pittsburgh has some of the best baseball weather in the country. Despite an average high temperature of 80 degrees, the thermometer rarely reaches 90 degrees at PNC Park. Never-the-less, there will be the inevitable summer hot spell that can ruin an afternoon at the ballpark.

sunny day pnc park
A sunny day at PNC Park - home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates typically play 8-10 day games during the summer months. During the week these games usually start at 12:35 p.m., while first pitch on the weekends is at 1:35. When the sun is shining, the best way to avoid melting is to find seats in the shade. Here are a few tips for beating the heat at PNC Park:

  • Sections 101-114 are the best seats for shade on the lower level
  • Sections 301-312 are the most affordable shaded seats
  • The most expensive seats are rarely shaded
  • Outfield sections (especially in left field) are known as the sunniest seats

Seats on the First Base Side are Shaded First

shaded side pnc park
Seats on the first base side of the field will be shaded first

Fans who attend a lot of Pirates games will be quick to tell you that the first base side is the shaded side of PNC Park. After the sun reaches its mid-day peak, it will begin fading behind sections on this side of the field.

Shaded Seats on the Lower Level

In the lower level, sections 101-114 are your best option on the first base side. Here's a breakdown of what to expect for most afternoon games:

  • Rows R and above fully shaded at first pitch
  • Rows E and above shaded by the middle innings
  • All rows shaded after 4:00 p.m.

Home plate sections 115-117 will see shade patterns very similar to sections 101-114. However, as you move closer to third base - and down the left field line - there are fewer and fewer seats in the shade. In these sections, aim for rows AA and higher for the best chance at protection.

Grandstand Seats in the Shade

grandstand pnc park
Grandstand sections offer great views of the surrounding area

The upper deck at PNC Park is also known as the Grandstand Level. Among these seats, sections 301-312 are your best spot for staying out of the sun. The upper half of rows in these sections are always shaded for afternoon games, and the lower half of each section gradually gets more shaded as the game progresses.

The Best Seats at PNC Park Are Rarely Shaded

The two most sought-after areas for tickets are Field Level sections 1-32 and Baseball Club sections 201-228. Unfortunately, these seats are rarely in the shade for day games in the summer.

If you are adamant on sitting in one of these two seating areas, be sure to sit in a section on the first base side. First base sections will be shaded in the later innings while third base sections will always be in the sun.

Left Field Bleachers and Rooftop are Known as PNC Park's Sunny Seats

sunny seats pnc park
The sunniest seats at PNC Park are in left field

If you're sensitive to the sun, the one area that must be absolutely avoided is left field. Seats like the Bleachers (235-238) and the Rooftop (335-339) are always going to get a heavy dose of sun for day games.

Covered Seats for Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

covered seats pnc park
Covered seats are at a premium at PNC Park

While PNC Park doesn't offer a whole lot of sun protection, it offers even less in the way of rain protection. Less than 10% of seats in the ballpark are under some sort of cover, which creates high demand for these seats when the forecast looks wet.

If you're purchasing tickets to a game and rain is a possibility, focus your search on the following areas:

  • Rows R and above in the Grandstand Level
  • Rows AA and above in the Lower Level

Within the 300s seats, keep in mind that covered seats are going to be in the highest rows. This will require you to walk up a set of stairs to reach your seats. Meanwhile, the covered seats in the 100s sections require no stairs or just a few stairs.