Pittsburgh Sports Stadiums and Arenas

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Heinz Field & PNC Park

If you’re a rideshare driver in Pittsburgh looking to capitalize on surge pricing, then you’re looking for the pickup/dropoff spots that will maximize your regular income. A few spots that should come to mind right away are the big sports arenas, such as Heinz Field during football season and PNC Park during baseball season. Both of these hotspots draw enormous crowds, often numbering in the tens of thousands. Imagine, too, how many more people are in the north shore area when the two seasons overlap! That’s a whole lot of potential clients.

Since a lot of the fandom for the Pirates and Steelers is local, you’ll get customers who prefer a ridesharing service over driving into and out of stadium traffic. Ridesharing options help to discourage drunk driving and to facilitate the vehicle influx throughout the night. Through Uber and Lyft, the tailgate can go on without worries (and without a car?). But, the sheer number of tailgaters presents some challenges for the drivers coming into the stadium areas. Uber has a few key tips and tricks that can help you navigate the commotion as effectively as possible. To elaborate:

  1. Try to be ready at the pickup spot before the game actually ends. This is a great time to pull up the Gridwise mobile app. You can monitor the game’s endtime and make sure that you’re using your time wisely. For example, if you learn that a game is going into overtime, then maybe it’s in your best interest to put in a couple of extra rides elsewhere before the game ends. Rideshare requests increase significantly toward the end of the game and after the game is over. You can easily reposition yourself into a demand hotspot.
  2. Make sure that you’re as accessible as possible. There will be a large volume of vehicles, vendors, and foot traffic as the game comes to a close. Figuring out a good place for pickup in that chaos becomes an artform. There are now designated spaces for Uber and Lyft drivers, with signs at gates A, B and C. Scope out some places that aren’t heavily encumbered by the foot traffic coming out of the stadium/baseball field. At the same time, these locations need to be recognizable, especially for the folks who aren’t super familiar with the north shore. Keep your Uber/Lyft trade dress visible to maximize recognizability.
  3. Give your client a call as you’re coming into position. This gets rid of any confusion that there may be about pickup location or estimated time of arrival. You will also want to know where the rider is in order to minimize wait time. The faster you and your rider reach each other the better, so a bit of communication on your part goes a long way.
  4. It can be stressful to be in an environment with so many people and cars moving in and out. Be calm and be flexible. One or more of your rides may not pan out. One or more of you riders may have been drinking heavily during the game, making it more difficult to maintain communication. Realistically, there is an overabundance of opportunity for you to accept a ride request during these sporting events. With enough patience, you’ll have another request in moments.

PPG Arena

Most of what was said about the previous two stadiums holds true for PPG Arena. It’s still a high volume, stressful environment full of crazy sports fans and even crazier drivers on the road. If you’re up for the challenge, it can be just as lucrative as a ride request from the other side of the river. Driving downtown means there are a couple of differences to think about before you arrive:

  1. Downtown/Uptown already has some consistent traffic, especially during rush hour and evenings when the cultural district holds events. Since traffic is consistently heavy during those peak times, it is crucial for you to have a good route that bypasses the most traffic possible. Know where you’re coming from and know where you want to go. Keep that in mind and always plan ahead!
  2. The standing area immediately outside of the arena is guaranteed to be packed with taxis and rideshare vehicles by the time the event is over. Come early if you want to secure a spot at the beginning of the line. If you’re coming just after the event is over (perhaps you completed a ride for folks who left the event early) and you still want to capitalize on surge pricing, it could be beneficial to arrive a block or two away from the stadium. Don’t forget to let your client know where you’re going to be!

Check out the Gridwise platform to help you circumvent the challenges of event ridesharing and ride more efficiently!

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