A New Pitt Stadium

Brandon Manning, Staff Writer

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Over the last couple of years, the idea of Pitt building a stadium that would be located on campus has been passed around here and there. However, I believe now is the time to start officially plan a way for the University of Pittsburgh to put a stadium on campus.

First, let’s look at the reasons why Pitt should move out of there current stadium: Heinz Field. Pitt has always had a hard time filling up the stadium for games that aren’t considered “big”. For example, over the past five years, Pitt has averaged an attendance of 45,000 people, but Heinz Field’s capacity is 65,000 seats. This leaves 20,000 empty seats on average during Pitt games, which is far too many than what is needed. Therefore, by building a new, 50,000 seat stadium, there would be less empty seats, which brings a better atmosphere.

Another problem with Heinz Field being the current location of Pitt football games is the distance from the Pitt campus. Heinz Field is currently 5 miles away from the Cathedral of Learning, which is the center of campus. Not only is the distance a decent travel, but the only way to get there is by a shuttle or a car ride due to having to drive on the parkway. This location creates a problem of students being forced to pay for a shuttle, which can only load so many students. Meanwhile, if a stadium was located on campus, this problem would be solved. Students would be able to walk to the games, which would bring more fans to the games.

The problem with building a stadium would be where to put a new stadium if the idea is approved. By being a city campus, Oakland has become very tight and hard to build new buildings. However, researchers has shown that the optical location would be located on Pitt’s upper campus near the Cost Center and Petersen Events Center. It would be built primarily on what is now a parking lot for the Pete on property the university already owns. On this property, in which an athletic complex sits on top of a parking garage, the complex/garage can be converted in the building of the stadium as a field house or as a north end structure.

After plans and ideas are created, another factor that needs to be addressed is the cost and how it would be payed. The estimated cost according to Eric Heyl of the Pittsburgh Patch would add up to be around $150-$170 million dollars.

People believe that building a stadium would be nearly impossible in a tight, compact campus. However, many other campuses had the same problem and solved it by fitting a stadium of their own. Some examples of this are found at Temple University and the University of Cincinnati. Temple is the biggest comparison to Pitt due an estimated $130 million build and Temple also currently shares a NFL stadium with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Clearly, a new stadium is possible at the University of Pittsburgh and support of the idea should be brought up in the near future.

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