Seven Reasons to Attend the Next Thunderbirds Game

Ultimate is a fast-paced sport that features a team of the best seven athletes against another team of the best seven athletes. An exciting mix between football, basketball, and soccer, the Disc can be launched over a hundred yards, players can leave their feet for incredible catches, and drama can unfold at any point in the game. But there's more to a Pittsburgh Thunderbirds match than just the game! With seven on our line, here's seven reasons why you should attend our next Thunderbirds game!

By: Andrew Gardner

The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds huddle at half-time of their Home Opener at Highmark Stadium in 2023. Photo: Jeff Gamza


One - It's FUN!

It's listed first because it's the most important reason in this list. You're going to have fun! The festivities begin between 5:00PM and 6:00PM when 16oz IC Light cans will be available for purchase for only $3.00. Pulling up to the Highmark Stadium parking lot and tailgating isn't just allowed, it's encouraged. Arrive early, have fun with your friends and family, and then head on in to watch both teams warm-up while our DJ, (DJ Michael Joseph) drops some pre-game beats over the loudspeakers. Be sure to take advantage of the IC Light special as it ends once the game begins. 

Fans celebrate a goal score at Highmark Stadium in 2016 during a playoff game vs the Minnesota Wind Chill. Photo: Ed Thompson

Two - The Hucket Bucket Challenge

An iconic staple of every Pittsburgh Thunderbirds home game has become the 'Hucket Bucket Challenge' which occurs at the end of the 3rd quarter. For a few dollars, you can purchase a bundle of mini discs. You will then attempt to toss one of those mini discs into our 'Hucket Bucket' on the field, with the winner taking home a cash prize! We have a winner more often than not - are you going to be our next Hucket Bucket Challenge champion and sign your name for the history books?

A fan celebrates after winning the Hucket Bucket Challenge on April 29th, 2023 at Highmark Stadium. Photo: Jeff Gamza

Three - There's Something at Stake

Due to the divisional scheduling format of our League, we actually don't get an opportunity to play against our in-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phoenix all that often. However, when we do, we put up for grabs the 'Commonwealth Cup'! The 'Commonwealth Cup' was introduced in 2021 as a symbol of the most recent winner between these two squads. First won by the Phoenix in 2021 in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh managed to steal the trophy back in Pittsburgh and have laid claim to it ever since. The trophy will be at risk for the first time in over two years. Beyond the physical trophy that will be won, both teams will be vying for state bragging rights as well as their own divisional positioning in the standings.

Myles Cooper of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds is interviewed by Kyle Archer after winning the Commonwealth Cup in 2021. Photo: Jeff Gamza

Four - The Return of CJ Colicchio

CJ Colicchio, a former Pittsburgh Thunderbirds player, had an impressive playing resume while playing for the Black and Gold. In two years, he had thrown 57 assists, scored 66 goals, and recorded 26 blocks. After his move to Philadelphia, he signed with the Phoenix and now the Thunderbirds are tasked with stopping that production they once laid claim to. While Colicchio undoubtedly enjoyed his time in the Steel City playing for the Thunderbirds, make no doubt about it. He wants to win this game, and badly. The Thunderbirds player's feel the same way, and its those competitive story lines that will pack a little bit of extra punch to every throw, every cut, and every block. 

CJ Colicchio sticks his tongue out celebrating a goal score for the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds. Photo: Jeff Gamza

Five - The Affordability

Having a family outing can be tough, so it's nice to know that the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds make it affordable for families to enjoy a comfortable night out. All children eight and under get in for free! When they do get inside Highmark Stadium, they can sign-up for our Kids Club and be a part of memories they will cherish forever. Have them form the player high-five tunnel, throw a Disc with their favorite Thunderbirds athlete, be picked for our halftime games, receive cool and unique gifts throughout the season, have the opportunity to announce players names, and more! If you have a group of 10 or more folks, save even more by contacting or by dialing 330-979-9347. 

Six - The Venue

Highmark Stadium truly has it all. It's not enough that the Thunderbirds can majestically throw a Disc in the air over the span of 100 yards as it sails across the Pittsburgh skyline, the sun shimmering off the Monongahela River, the occasional train rumbling past, making noise for the home team on an important defensive point, or the Gateway Clipper playing a Pittsburgh tune. Beyond that, it features a fully loaded clubhouse with food options, alcohol for purchase, a jumbo-tron for player introductions and replay, and center field seats with seat-backs. And when the game concludes and you're celebrating a win, head over to one of the many shops and restaurants located within Station Square. 

A bleacher view of Highmark Stadium before the Thunderbirds home playoff game against the Minnesota Wind Chill.

Seven - Player Interactions

There is no other sport of its kind that allows you access to the field immediately following the game. We welcome all of our friends, young and old, to throw with the Pros after the game. Or perhaps you would like to throw with your friends and family with the beautiful backdrop of the Pittsburgh skyline. In any case, it's the perfect way to cap off your night. Our players are excited to welcome you all to be a part of this experience with us, so please join us as we host the Philadelphia Phoenix on Saturday, May 27th at 6:00PM at Highmark Stadium.

Clint McSherry high-fives fans after the conclusion of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Home Opener in 2023 at Highmark Stadium. Photo: Jeff Gamza

For tickets to the Philadelphia Phoenix game, you can visit this site HERE.