Point-Counterpoint | Best place to watch Pitt games is at the venue


TPN File Photo

Acrisure Stadium in the North Shore.

By Jermaine Sykes, Senior Staff Writer

Think about this.

It’s a Saturday morning in the fall. After a long week of classes, you finally get time to unwind. You wake up, put on your blue and gold attire and watch your Panthers football team compete. 

But instead of heading to the North Shore to watch your Panthers play at Acrisure Stadium, you choose to watch from a bar.

Was this what you imagined when you started reading? The answer is probably no. Because the best place to watch Pitt sports events is at the venue itself.

Imagine your favorite Pitt sports moments of the 2022-23 school year. My two personal favorites were the MJ Devonshire interception in the Backyard Brawl and the 11-0 run to end the game in Pitt men’s basketball’s win against Miami

What people love and remember about these moments was the atmosphere at Acrisure Stadium and the Petersen Events Center. The fans were so loud you could barely hear yourself think. Hearing the victory song, singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and celebrating with students are highlights that stick with fans from these moments.

You just don’t get the same feeling at the local bars. While you may still have the camaraderie with other fans, you often find yourself missing some of the action and spending more time ordering food and drinks than enjoying the game itself.

When you look back at what you love about Pitt sports, it’s never the too-expensive-to-enjoy drink you ordered, or the $12-plus you spent on three chicken tenders. It’s about the exciting moments on and off the playing field. 

At a bar, you’d never see a student completing the spot-shot challenge to win himself free rent for a year. You’d never get to travel to the concession stands at Pitt baseball and softball games to get a hotdog — or multiple — on “dollar dog” nights. You don’t get to dance so hard that you’re featured on the dance cam.

The fan experience of being at the games is unmatched, while the benefits of being at the bar during games can be achieved at said games.

Want to grab a drink? Beer and mixed drinks are available to of-age individuals at every Pitt sporting event. Want some good food? There’s no better game food than Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries at Pitt football games. Even in losses, Panthers fans cheer each other up and yell “P-I-T-T.” There’s just no better place for fans’ viewing.

Some can — and justifiably so — argue that the weather is a downside to attending outdoor sporting events. While it can be hot — or, most of the time, cold — it’s all a part of the experience. 

I look back to last year and Pitt football’s victory against North Carolina. The game was on a Thursday night, a few hours before my birthday. It was sub-40-degree weather, with rain pouring down on the student section where I was sitting. Still, the student section was rocking, and the Panthers won the game in overtime to win the ACC Coastal Division Championship. 

Almost poetically, the game concluded right before the clock struck 12. I was freezing cold and drenched afterward, and I remember taking the hottest shower of my life. But the euphoric feeling of being at Heinz Field that night could never be replicated at a bar. 

You may leave the game a little sweaty, or cold, and maybe it takes a while to get home with the endless amount of traffic. But these cons are heavily outweighed by the benefits you get from watching these games in person. While there are some great bars and restaurants where fans can watch games, there’s no other place you’d want to be than at the venue where the game is taking place.