Bud-branded lounge set for PNC Park

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Some Pirates fans might be able to drink in the view of the Downtown skyline from PNC Park this season -- literally.

In conjunction with Anheuser-Busch, the Pirates will open a new 5,000-square-foot bar and lounge in the right field corner of the park that will be available to all ticket holders.

Budweiser Bowtie Bar will be the first new restaurant or bar built at the park since the Hall of Fame Club replaced Outback Steakhouse in 2008. It should be ready by opening day on April 5.

It will be located just left of the right field grandstands on the main concourse. From the venue, fans will be able to watch the action on the field or take in the views of the city skyline and the Allegheny River.

"It should be some of the most spectacular geography of PNC Park," Pirates President Frank Coonelly said.

On game days, the Pirates will make available half of the bar and lounge for rent to groups of 50 or more. On days when that space is rented, the other half will be available to any fan with a ticket.

The group space includes about 35 ticketed seats that once were part of the park but that now will be part of the bar. On nights when the group space is not being used, the ticketed seats will be offered for sale to the public. The price has yet to be set.

Budweiser Bowtie Bar will be the only full-service bar on the main concourse, offering wine and liquor as well as beer. Fans also will be able to buy sandwiches and some select meals.

The Pirates said the improvements will cost more than $500,000 but less than $1 million. They are being paid for by the team, Anheuser-Busch and concessionaire Aramark.

Mr. Coonelly said the bar and lounge probably will be the biggest improvement to the park that fans will see this year.

The Pirates also announced that they had reached a new "enhanced" three-year sponsorship extension with Anheuser-Busch. Terms were not disclosed. Anheuser-Busch has been a sponsor at PNC Park since it opened in 2001.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.


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