PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Andrew McCutchen returned to PNC Park last Friday night the atmosphere was electric.
“It was fun, it was celebratory,” says Siobhan Mackey. “It was so glad to welcome McCutchen back.”
Sara Wertheimer, from Wilkinsburg, says, “It was wonderful. It was great. It reminded me of our previous seasons when we were contenders, it was great.”
And Delores Cavic adds, “I loved it. It was like the Cincinnati game a few years ago.”
But that was in the stands, at the concession stands, Mackey says, “There were more people up here on the concourse than there were in the seats, it was nuts.”
Joanne Britcher sent an email to KDKA saying she was in line for food for an hour.
Connor tweeted: “You can’t even walk through the food lines, it’s ridiculous.”
Peter Reitmeyer tweeted: “1.5 innings to get a hotdog.”
Pirates President Frank Coonelly says, “We’ve heard from our fans who had a poor experience in concession lines, and we’ve worked with our partners, Aramark and Levys, to make sure we correct whatever issues our fans were experiencing. We have to do a better job.”
In this period before schools let out, the attendance at a ballgame can range from 10,000 to 38,000, and adjustments have to be made.
“Obviously, on days when the crowd is not as high, not every point of sale is going to be open. But when you have 36,000, 37,000, 40,000 people in the ballpark, yes, you are going to have some lines, but what the fans experienced on Friday night was not acceptable,” Coonelly said.
Coonelly points out it’s not like the crowd materializes out of nowhere.
“These are numbers that we know and we report them to our concessionaires, and we need to do a better job. When we have a crowd that we knew was going to be a full house like on Friday, every single point of sale needs to be open. And we need to be moving our fans through those lines as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Wertheimer looks at it as the price fans have to pay to follow a first place team.
“If we’re winning, and the seats are packed. The lines are long,” she says.
Coonelly promises, “We’re working really hard to make sure it never happens again for our fans.”
They will have a chance to test the revamped efforts on Star Wars\Fireworks night this Friday night.