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Brush Up On Pittsburgh’s Awful Tailgating Rules

Tailgating is a lifestyle here at Penn State. We’ve definitely grown accustomed to over-the-top tailgate setups and all the luxuries that go along with being able to park your RV or pickup truck right next to the stadium.

The huge grass tailgating lots surrounding Beaver Stadium make tailgating in Happy Valley an extremely inclusive and fun environment. However, not all schools have such a setup (like, you guessed it, Pitt!) If you’re one of the numerous Nittany Lions heading to Pittsburgh this weekend, be prepared to witness a tailgating scene that is very bad different than what you’re accustomed to as a Nittany Lion.

First of all, Heinz Stadium is not located near the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus. Because of this, students are not able to just walk up to the game from their dorm rooms and apartments. This makes the act of actually tailgating before entering the game much more difficult (read: less fun). Even this article from The Pitt News on how to properly tailgate before a game at Heinz Field recognizes that having football games off-campus is a huge buzzkill.

Furthermore, because Heinz Field is located in the city, it’s quite difficult to find parking near the stadium during big games such as this one, AKA the only big game of Pitt’s home season. Another implication of the city location: no RVs. Since tailgating in Pittsburgh is much different than tailgating at Beaver Stadium, it’s important to know the “official” rules so you don’t end up lost, confused, and utterly disappointed  on gameday. A wise soul once said that if you keep your expectations low you’ll avoid disappointment, so get prepared.

The Alco-Parking Corporation outlines the rules for Pitt Panthers Tailgating as follows:

“For all North Shore parking options, all locations open 5 hours prior to game time.

No tents are permitted. No fires other than cooking grills are permitted. Grills are NOT permitted in any garages. No personal or private toilets or port-a-johns are permitted. No sale of alcohol is permitted. Tailgating is to be contained to paid space only. Tailgating and other activities cannot restrict access to the aisles.

No campers, RV’s, motorhomes, limos, U-Haul trucks, or buses will be permitted into stadium parking lots.

Pre-sold parking is reserved for all North Shore locations thru the Pitt Ticket Office 1-800-643-PITT.

A limited number of game day spaces (non-presold) are available at Nova Place Garage for $20. Additional parking downtown ranging from $5 to $20 on evenings and weekends.

Heinz Field Guest Services: 412-697-7150 (press 4)”

It is also rumored that the rules surrounding the “gravel lot” where many students go to tailgate before games will be different this weekend. Even though the gravel lot is far away from the actual stadium, it’s a common place for students to congregate. On Saturday, however, students will need to arrive inside a vehicle to enter the lot, per our friends who attend Pitt. This means that it isn’t possible to just walk into the lot to meet your friends. While the students have yet to receive an official email from the University of Pittsburgh about this topic (as of today), it seems to be common knowledge amongst the students.

It is also very likely that the Pitt police will have an increased presence this weekend due to the influx of (Penn State) fans arriving for the game. If you’re planning to head to Pittsburgh this weekend, leave your RVs at home or pay the price. We’re sure we can still manage to have some fun.

About the Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski


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