Curve ready to host Pirates

Mother Nature has cooperated enough this week to make it possible for Saturday’s Altoona Curve exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates to top 10,000 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

The Curve are putting 300 standing-room-only tickets on sale at 9 a.m. today. Once those tickets are gone, the game will be officially sold out.

Fans can purchase those tickets at PNG Field or by phone at 877-99-CURVE.

“Obviously the Pirates made it all possible by saying yes in coming,” Curve general manager Rob Egan said.

The Curve already have sold close to 9,700 tickets, and the additional 300, plus expected complimentary tickets, should put the total above 10,000, Egan said. The ballpark record is 9,308 set in 2006.

“It will be special for our guys to return to Altoona as members of the Pirates,” Bucs President Frank Coonelly said. “So many of our guys played for the Curve on their way to Pittsburgh and look forward to seeing the Curve fans who helped them become major league players.

“It will be an opportunity for the players and the organization to say thank you to very special friends,” Coonelly said.

The forecast for Saturday is calling for temperatures in the upper-40s and partly sunny skies.

Several inches of snow fell on the ballpark during the past week, but Egan said the playing surface is in great shape.

The VIP parking lot at the ballpark will be for season-ticket holders who already have passes and will cost $4. There also will be a limited number of handicapped parking spaces in the VIP lot.

All other parking will be $3.