A Steelers game just isn’t a Steelers game without the time-honored tradition of tailgating complete with authentic Pittsburgh cuisine, parking-lot games and activities and game-day rallies and chants. While Heinz Field is accommodating to the city’s tailgaters, there are certain parking limitations and locations that tailgating fans need to be aware of.

Guaranteed Parking Lots

There are more than 20 guaranteed parking lots near Heinz Field. The stadium’s nearest parking spots, Gold 1 and 1A, are located in the Gold Lots and are accessible from Reedsdale Street or General Robinson Street. Gold 2, Gold 3 and Gold 4 lots are accessible via North Shore Drive. Handicap parking is available in Gold 1 for $35 per space with handicap ID on a first-come, first-served basis.

Limited parking spots may be available in Red Lot 5 near West General Robinson Street Garage for $12 per game and in Blue Lot 7J and Blue Lot 10 for $35 per game. These spots will also be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

All pre-sold lots open five hours prior to game time. Pre-sold parking tickets must be on display at all times from your vehicle’s rear-view mirror. Campers, limos, uhaul trucks, RVs, buses and motorhomes are not permitted in stadium parking lots.

Cash Parking Lots

If you didn’t pre-purchase your parking spot, consider parking in one of the many cash lots and arriving at the stadium via the new free “T” or the city’s unique boat shuttles and water limos. Cash lots are located in the Golden Triangle, Strip District and Station Square. Parking in one of the Golden Triangle’s 20,000 parking spaces is just $5 on game days and includes free rides to Heinz Field on the area’s four “T” stops.

You can also catch a ride on one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers aboard the Pittsburgh Water Limo boat shuttles that depart three hours prior to kickoff at the Allegheny Wharf near the south end of the Clemente Bridge. These shuttles return at the end of the third quarter and continue until one hour following the game. Pittsburgh Water Limo service costs $5 one way per person or $8 roundtrip per person and requires reservations that can be made by calling Pittsburgh Water Limo at (412) 221-5466. With 11 parking lots, nine of which are parking garages, parking in the Golden Triangle is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to get to the stadium.

If the Golden Triangle lots are full, you’re next best option is to park at Station Square. Parking at Station Square’s Garage or West Lots will cost you a little more at $10, but it’s worth it to enjoy a ride on the Gateway Clipper Shuttle Boat that will take you to the stadium for just $5 each way per person. Boarding begins about two hours before the start of the game and boats run every five to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Gateway Clipper Shuttle Boat departs Heinz Field during the third quarter and continues after the end of the game. If you prefer to stay on land, the “T” travels between Heinz Field and Station Square for $2.50 each way per person.

If you still can’t find parking, you can always park near the Strip District at 24th Street for $6. At 23rd Street, you can board a Pittsburgh Luxury Cruises shuttle boat up to three hours prior to the start of the game. Each boat ride is $7 each way per person or $10 roundtrip per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Pittsburgh Luxury Cruises at (412) 221-5466.

For more information regarding tailgating parking availabilities near Heinz Field, call ALCO Parking Corporation at (412) 323-4455 or visit www.steelers.com.

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 todays generation of young skaters. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.