Where the Pittsburgh Pirates Dock for Spring

Kenny LindbergContributor IMarch 8, 2009

So you're about to go to Spring Training and thinking of watching the Pittsburgh Pirates. Well, there are many ways to visit and check out the Bucs. Your best bet in getting to Bradenton, FL to see the Pirates, would be to fly into Tampa or Orlando Florida.

Pittsburgh has been associated with the town of Bradenton since 1969, and has recently just signed a new 30-year lease at their practice facility Pirate City. The Pirates play at McKechnie Field, which as been around since 1923, and was rebuilt in 1993.

The St. Louis Cardinals opened McKechnie Field in 1923, and is also known to some as a former home of the Atlanta Braves. The Cardinals were there until 1969 when the Pirates took over.

Bradenton itself is a very sleepy quiet town. While there is little to do in Bradenton, you are about an hour away from Tampa, in which there is a surplus of activities, and entertainment for every fan.

In Bradenton, though, there is the South Florida Museum, which showcases history of South Florida and also two West Indian Manatees Snooty, and Mo. Bradenton is also the home to the main Tropicana orange juice plant.

Longboat Key is a nice beach town which is ideal for a Pirates fan looking to watch games then lay out at the beach and relax.

Bradenton is a very nice town and a very relaxing place to stay as well. I have not personally taken in a game here, however I plan on seeing a few in the coming weeks. The Pirates currently a top the Grapefruit League standings, which shows that a Pirates Spring Training game puts you in for an entertaining day of excitement.

Bradenton has a Roadway Inn, Holiday Inn, and a Days Inn. If unable to find a place to stay, then look into the Tampa area for a room.

For the autograph collector look to Pirate City for autographs, and down the right-field line in autograph alley.

When going to a game though arrive early if you want a closer parking spot because there is not many right around the field. Otherwise there are plenty of parking spots a block to about three blocks away.