PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The saying is “clothes make the man,” but in Pittsburgh with sports and the playoffs, clothes make the fan.
New York has its Fashion District, but Pittsburgh’s fashion district is the Strip – at least when it comes to sports clothing and apparel.
“Pirates stuff, you [have to] have it today,” Dom Mecchia said.
Normally dominated by the Steelers and Penguins, from shirts to books, Pirates fans have definitely hoisted the colors.
Brenda Waters reports:
However, KDKA-TV’s Ross Guidotti did some digging and asked some tough questions.
Guidotti: Before this year how much gear did you really own?
Rich Micik: None.
Guidotti: If you put a dollar figure on all the pirate gear you bought how much would it be..
Micik: I don’t know, a couple hundred.
Merchants said they’re really happy about this Bucco bonanza, especially when you consider the Steelers are 0-4.
Wrapping this up, one wonders what’s the biggest and best piece of Pirates merchandise a fan could want.
“One piece? We’ll take that World Series trophy, but I don’t know if it’s realistic,” one fan said.
Other local business owners are also happy about the boost the Pirates success is bringing them.
“I would like to meet each one of the Pirates and hug them individually,” said Jack Hunt, owner of Atria’s. “‘Cause they do one heck of a job for this city.”
According to Visit Pittsburgh, during a regular season game, about $2.5 million is brought in — and about 19 percent of those in town are coming from 100 miles away or farther.
With all of the out-of-town fans, many of the area hotels are booked up.
“This is great, once the Pirates clenched the playoffs, we pretty much hit a solid immediately,” said Derek Pintado with Hampton Inn & Suites, “… we’re completely sold out.”
Even the Heinz History Center has a “Bucco Bogo” offer, where if you show up at the museum wearing your Pirates gear, you can buy one ticket and get one free.