Point-Counterpoint | Kick back, relax and watch Pitt at your local bar or restaurant


Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt fans pose at Hemingway’s Tuesday evening.

By Richie Smiechowski, Sports Editor

The Acrisure Stadium experience — it’s truly one of a kind. 

Who doesn’t love watching a football game outdoors on the brink of a Pittsburgh winter — where on any given day fans are either treated to fifty degrees and sunny or the ever-desirable high-thirties, snow-sleet-rain combo that’s occasionally followed by a Pitt loss (see football vs. Georgia Tech, 2022). 

If the wildly unpredictable weather doesn’t convince fans to get to the game, then surely stadium food prices will! 

Even though you can’t use cash at any Pitt sporting event, prepare for your hard-earned money to disappear after spending a reasonable $35 on two beers and a popcorn bucket. You totally didn’t miss two touchdowns, an interception and a field invader while you were away.

Wait, you haven’t sprinted to your computer to buy season tickets yet? Well, the process of leaving Acrisure Stadium will surely convince you to go do so right this second. Every Pitt fan absolutely adores feeling like a canned sardine while walking down the exit ramp following a thrilling defeat. 

Through the chaos there might just be a few opposing fans who wouldn’t dare shout obscenities at the droves of depressed students and fans waiting hours for trains and shuttles leaving the stadium. 

Hold on, you’re saying you’d rather watch the game at Shorty’s instead? You don’t wish to compound the deep sadness that comes with a heartbreaking Pitt loss with even more anguish and frustration thanks to your stadium experience?

Well, who could really blame you?

Of course, looking past all the challenges that come with a normal Pitt gameday, there’s something great about being at the stadium. The energy from the students, the palpable tension in close games — it’s the fans and players that make going in-person to sporting events great. 

It’s just about everything else that can make the experience miserable. 

In lieu of wasting money, time and, often when it comes to Pitt, your general happiness and well-being, why not watch your Panthers in comfort? Being in a sports town like Pittsburgh, there are quite literally countless places to watch local games — and all of them are crawling with fans in blue and gold.

There’s nothing worse than getting into and leaving Pitt football and basketball games, especially as a fan. Long wait times to get into student sections and massive bottlenecks leaving both Acrisure Stadium and the Petersen Events Center are never enjoyable, even when Pitt wins. 

Sure, bars can have large crowds, especially if you wandered over to Tequila Cowboy on the North Shore. But both entering and leaving a bar is significantly easier than entering and leaving a stadium — not to mention, entry is almost always free.

Once you’ve comfortably settled into your bar of choice, the actual experience of watching the game is perhaps even more immersive than watching at the stadium. There are TVs everywhere you look, all broadcasting the local teams. 

Why sit in the nosebleeds of Acrisure Stadium, straining your eyes to see Kedon Slovis throw an interception, when you could have witnessed it with ease alongside hundreds of other livid Pitt fans at Hemingway’s? It’s the best seat in the house!

In the event of a losing effort, nobody can afford to drown their sorrows in $15 beverages at the stadium. At least enjoy your sadness beers quietly at Jimmy D’s for a quarter of the price — maybe even throw in a helping of sadness nachos with your savings.

Win or lose, watching Pitt play in comfort drinking endless cheap beers alongside your closest friends at a bar sounds like the right play on game days. It’s still possible to get the full fan experience and the highs and lows of gameday without braving the elements or getting trampled on your way home. 

Sure, you might miss out on buying an “I WAS AT THE BRAWL” shirt from Chas following the big game — but at least you maintained your sanity.