With fans’ unmatched hometown pride, tailgating at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field is an experience unlike any other. Each of the stadium’s 22 neighboring parking lots is packed not only with hospitable, ready-to-party Steelers fans but with some of the best cooks, the most fun family friendly activities and the most eye-catching tailgating vehicles in the city. Whether you’re looking to swap recipes with the lots’ resident chefs or join in a game of cornhole with your kids, you can bet you’ll find a spot at these four lots that cater to your individual tailgating style.
Gold Lot 1A: Most Pittsburgh Pride
Being that this pre-sold lot is the closest you can park to the stadium, come prepared to tailgate with the best. Gold Lot 1A tailgaters are among the most welcoming, friendly fans. The majority of tailgaters here welcome out-of-town Steelers fans and, as long as you’re cheering for the black and gold, they’ll treat you like family. Just be sure to rock your Steelers gear—or anything black and gold for that matter—and don’t be afraid to go all out. Think black and gold face paint, Polamalu hair hats, your favorite player’s jersey and, of course, a Terrible Towel.
Blue Lots 7F & 7H: Best Cooks
Walk through Blue Lots 7F and 7H and you’ll soon be met with the enticing aromas of hamburgers or grilled potato skins wafting from portable grills. These are the lots you want to hang around if you love a good tailgating dip or authentic Pittsburgh bite. Consider bringing food or drinks to share with other tailgaters. Dips are always a hit, travel well and can be stored in a small crockpot, and no tailgater will every turn down a few cases of beer. If you can’t bring a dish to share, many tailgate hosts will accept a donation in exchange for joining their party. It is common for many tailgaters to donate around $10 to cover the cost of food and alcohol.
Red Lots 5 & 5A: Most Family Friendly
If you’re planning to bring the kids to their first Steelers tailgate, Red Lots 5 & 5A have plenty of family friendly activities to keep the little ones entertained. These lots are bustling with everything from frisbee to cornhole, both of which are easy games for children to learn and participate in. Younger children love getting their faces painted, so find a tailgater willing to share their face paint and help your kids display their Pittsburgh pride. With plenty of room to play, consider bringing along some sidewalk chalk and inviting neighboring tailgating kids to create a Steelers-inspired masterpiece near your parking spot.
Green Lot 21: Best Steelers Fan Vehicles
Combine the city’s biggest gear heads with an unwavering devotion to all things black and gold and you get the best Steelers fan vehicles in Pittsburgh. From a Cadillac hurst sporting custom-made graphics that read “Go Steelers!” to tricked-out trucks with black and gold paint jobs featuring Steelers autographs, Green Lot 21 is scattered with these automotive works of art. But even if you don’t have thousands to drop on Steelers decals and rims, you can still show your love for the Steelers by adding a few black and gold accessories to your vehicle. Strip District shops like Mike Feinberg Company sell everything from Steelers logo side mirror covers and license plate frames to steering wheel covers and floor mats, which can add a little extra to your tailgating caravan. You can jazz your ride up even more with washable window paint that allows you to personalize a message on your vehicle’s windows and some black and gold streamers and flags, which you can purchase from your local Dollar Store.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with today’s generation of young skaters. Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.