Renovations at the Petersen Events Center

Chris Peak

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Press release:

Renovations and modifications continue at the Petersen Events Center as the home for Pitt Basketball continues to improve on its status as one of the top on-campus venues in the country.

Arena enhancements include the addition of 1,608 padded club seats with increased foam thickness on both back and seat bottom for enhanced fan comfort along with taller seat backs, 1,100 new ergonomically designed polymer seats on the court level, upgrades to the Platinum Clubs and the addition of a new young alumni space. Pitt will also improve the environmental branding of the Petersen Events Center with extensive updates to the lobby, wayfinding signage throughout the venue and a curtaining system in the upper deck to create a more intimate environment for select concerts and events.

Premium seating at the Petersen Events Center continues to be enhanced with the addition of padded club seats in sections 107-109 and 120-122. Club seat holders at the PEC will have newly installed cushioned seats with cup holders as well as access to the Campus View Club. The Campus View Club includes fully stocked bars, upscale dining options from new food service provider Chartwells/Pitt Eats, and restroom facilities.

Platinum Club, located on the Club Level above sections 108 and 109, will soon feature permanent seating with padded wide chairs, lounge seating, more TVs, and enhanced presentation space for the included hospitality. With the redesign of Platinum Club, guests will enjoy the luxury of a suite experience with the purchase of just the tickets they need.

Fans interested in club seating options at the Petersen Events Center can join an interest list HERE. A Pitt Athletics representative will reach out with additional information on all club seat options.

The open concourse below the end zone video boards will also be converted to a new club space for fans. Construction is slated to begin in May with a full description of the space and pricing details coming this summer.

The upper deck curtain system will enable the ASM Global to attract additional concerts, shows and events to the Petersen Events Center by creating a more intimate and private environment in the arena with the ability will be able to reduce capacity to around 6,000 fans.

The Petersen Events Center continues to refine the environmental branding a signage throughout the building. Prior to the 2021-22 season, the lobby floor will be redone and all wayfinding signage on the concourses will be updated.

New season tickets for Pitt Basketball will go on sale Tuesday, May 4 at 10 a.m. through the Panthers Ticket Office.

Pitt's full 2021-22 schedule will be announced in the fall. The Panthers are expected to host Duke, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, NC State, Miami and Boston College in conference play and are likely to host an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game after playing on the road in the challenge last season.

“We continue to focus on enhancing our guest experiences through innovative amenities and spaces for our fans,” said Taylor Traversari, Petersen Events Center General Manager. “We are thrilled with the result of the upgrades, which will be very noticeable as we welcome fans back into the Petersen Events Center.”

Petersen Events Center
The Petersen Events Center, a multi-purpose arena housing athletics offices as well as academic and training space on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in the Oakland neighborhood, is named for philanthropists John Petersen and his wife Gertrude, who donated $10 million for its construction. The Petersen Events Center, winner of the 2003 Innovative Architecture & Design Honor Award from Recreation Management magazine, hosted its first event in April of 2002 with the first basketball games played in November of 2002. With 430,000 total square feet, The Pete seats 12,508 for basketball, 9,000 for end stage concerts and 6,000 for lower bowl concerts. The arena features 16,000 square feet of lobby space with 90-foot high ceilings and 42,000 square feet of glass with a barely visible coating that allows sunlight through while controlling heat loss and gain. The arena also features 18 luxury suites, including five courtside luxury suites (the only college arena with courtside suites) and a 193-seat Champions Club.

Bolstered by the $12.5 million addition of Pitt Studios in 2018 and extensive renovations in 2019, The Pete features; LED lighting throughout the entire building, a new state-of-the-art center hung video board, two end zone replay/stats boards, free public WiFi and a dedicated media WiFi network, a new media suite with press row seating and a media room, enhanced and expanded premium seating areas, new in venue dining options at the PEC Food Court, and updated environmental branding throughout the interior of the venue.

Complete events schedules as well as additional venue information is available at https://www.peterseneventscenter.com/.

ASM Global
ASM Global is the world's leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company's elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world's most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences.

ASM Global's diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company's depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem-solving. Each day, the company's 61,000 passionate employees around the world deliver locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.

Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services
Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality and award-winning guest service in over 300 campuses in the United States. Chartwells' nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com, www.ChartwellsMonthly.com, www.DineonCampus.com.

Pitt Eats
Pitt Eats, managed by Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, began service at the University of Pittsburgh in July 2020. Pitt Eats focuses on building culinary connections through fresh, innovative menuing and programming with an emphasis on local relationships, sustainable procurement, and diverse offerings. For more information, visit www.DineOnCampus.com/Pitt.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Good idea to add premium padded seats in the club sections. Really disappointed that the "porch" is going away with the creation of another club. I think that's one of the coolest part of the Pete. Often, its the first time you can actually see the court when walking to your seat. Nice place to meet friends and watch warmups.

They probably lack the physical space for this, but if it were me, I would have created 2 clubs atop the courtside premium seating like the NBA/NHL arenas do. PPG Paints has the Captain Morgan Club and the Key Bank (?) Club on the other side and you can only access your seats through that club.

I would also be looking at ways to decrease capacity. Even if Pitt were to get really really good again, I only see a few games per year where 12,508 people would attend. Yea, they may draw 11,000 if they are ranked 7th and playing Wake Forest on a Tuesday night but times have changed, fans have changed.
 
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Good idea to add premium padded seats in the club sections. Really disappointed that the "porch" is going away with the creation of another club. I think that's one of the coolest part of the Pete. Often, its the first time you can actually see the court when walking to your seat. Nice place to meet friends and watch warmups.

They probably lack the physical space for this, but if it were me, I would have created 2 clubs atop the courtside premium seating like the NBA/NHL arenas do. PPG Paints has the Captain Morgan Club and the Key Bank (?) Club on the other side and you can only access your seats through that club.

I would also be looking at ways to decrease capacity. Even if Pitt were to get really really good again, I only see a few games per year where 12,508 people would attend. Yea, they may draw 11,000 if they are ranked 7th and playing Wake Forest on a Tuesday night but times have changed, fans have changed.
Agreed but you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet!

The porch was cool but not revenue generating and allowed too much noise to escape imo.
 
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Sean Miller Fan

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I think I'm reading it right, 1570 a ticket for the padded seats? wow
Charge whatever for those seats but post-Covid with a terrible team, Pitt has got to make the other seats ridiculously cheap. Like $150-$200 per season for some upper deck.
 
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DT_PITT

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Good idea to add premium padded seats in the club sections. Really disappointed that the "porch" is going away with the creation of another club. I think that's one of the coolest part of the Pete. Often, its the first time you can actually see the court when walking to your seat. Nice place to meet friends and watch warmups.

They probably lack the physical space for this, but if it were me, I would have created 2 clubs atop the courtside premium seating like the NBA/NHL arenas do. PPG Paints has the Captain Morgan Club and the Key Bank (?) Club on the other side and you can only access your seats through that club.

I would also be looking at ways to decrease capacity. Even if Pitt were to get really really good again, I only see a few games per year where 12,508 people would attend. Yea, they may draw 11,000 if they are ranked 7th and playing Wake Forest on a Tuesday night but times have changed, fans have changed.

I loved meeting friends on "the Porch" for many, many years, but people have not met there pregame to meet friends or watch warmups for at least five years, and to a large extent, longer than that.
 
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Sean Miller Fan

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Nobody cares what you think , we know you’re strictly stubhub
I was for about 3 years. Still couldn't get lower level seats towards the end of Dixon so I gave up my uppers and Stubhub'd lowers. I started getting season tickets again for the 1st year of Stallings since I could get really good lowers. However, I'm not renewing this season. I will probably have to miss many games due to youth basketball and will not be able to sell/give away my tickets as there will be no demand
 
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Sean Miller Fan

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Pitt went from one of the best programs in the country to a so so team to a terrible team then to a mediocre team . ( at best ) explains a lot .
mediocre?

Mediocre was Dixon II. We are terrible. Stallings Season 2 was historically bad.
 

Fsgolfdr

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6-10 in the worst the ACC has ever been is terrible. We finished 12th out of 15. That's far from mediocre. Dixon II was mediocre
They beat Syracuse twice , Duke and Virginia tech not terrible ....

Dixon ll was only mediocre when comp it to Dixon l . From a historical standpoint Dixon ll was outstanding !

This wasn’t the season I wanted , but it wasn’t horrible , going forward anything close to a .500 record in conference will be a very successful season , get use to it .
 
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cabe23

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I loved meeting friends on "the Porch" for many, many years, but people have not met there pregame to meet friends or watch warmups for at least five years, and to a large extent, longer than that.
My friends and I would always meet up at the porch before games and at halftime but it was always surprisingly empty considering how cool it is.
 

DT_PITT

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My friends and I would always meet up at the porch before games and at halftime but it was always surprisingly empty considering how cool it is.

During Capel's first year, I got to a game about 40 minutes early and just hung out there to watch warmups and I literally might have been the only person there for almost the entire time.

Around 2005, about 10-15 of us used to always meet there to talk before the game. Sadly, two who used to meet there (Harve and geno2u) have since passed, and another good friend -- midnightblue -- has ceased going to games. It was a different, but very, very wonderful time.
 

DT_PITT

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Dixon ll was only mediocre when comp it to Dixon l . From a historical standpoint Dixon ll was outstanding !

... which is more or less what several us tried to explain during 2012-2016 but were frequently described as JIGers.
 

Fsgolfdr

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... which is more or less what several us tried to explain during 2012-2016 but were frequently described as JIGers.
Fans not that familiar with the program’s history got spoiled .

The problem going forward is that any coach coming in here will be compared to what JD accomplished and realistically even Dixon ll will be hard to match .
 

DT_PITT

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Fans not that familiar with the program’s history got spoiled .

The problem going forward is that any coach coming in here will be compared to what JD accomplished and realistically even Dixon ll will be hard to match .

I know at this point I will simply be happy to once again have our name called on Selection Sunday. Used to maybe be my favorite day of the year, even during the 2015-2016 season.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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They beat Syracuse twice , Duke and Virginia tech not terrible ....

Dixon ll was only mediocre when comp it to Dixon l . From a historical standpoint Dixon ll was outstanding !

This wasn’t the season I wanted , but it wasn’t horrible , going forward anything close to a .500 record in conference will be a very successful season , get use to it .
Dixon II was a bubble program. That's mediocre.

Capel Year 1: wins over NCAAT seeds 4 (FSU), 7 (Lou), 13 (SLU)

Capel Year 3: wins over NCAAT seeds 4 (VT), Syr (11), Syr (11)

We were terrible in Year 1 and absolutely no better in Year 3. The schedule was much easier. Anyone can see that.

The team hasn't improved at all from Year 1 to Year 3. And Year 4 is shaping up to be the worst yet
 
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Fsgolfdr

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Dixon II was a bubble program. That's mediocre.

Capel Year 1: wins over NCAAT seeds 4 (FSU), 7 (Lou), 13 (SLU)

Capel Year 3: wins over NCAAT seeds 4 (VT), Syr (11), Syr (11)

We were terrible in Year 1 and absolutely no better in Year 3. The schedule was much easier. Anyone can see that.

The team hasn't improved at all from Year 1 to Year 3. And Year 4 is shaping up to be the worst yet .
Pitt bb is in a bad place and until Pitts administration wants to win nothing much will change .
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Pitt bb is in a bad place and until Pitts administration wants to win nothing much will change .
They are either going to have get extremely lucky with their next low-level coaching hire or just throw a ton of money at it to try to get more of a sure-thing as a coach. Even right now, all it really takes is about $1 million more in staff upgrades but they wont do it. We need a recruitinator. They'd rather put that money towards cushioned seats that nobody will sit in.
 

levance2

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Fans not that familiar with the program’s history got spoiled .
I really don't believe this is true. The fans most delusional about our football program are the ones who have been following it the longest.

The people who chased out Dixon were the wealthy boosters who felt their donations should be buying championships and miserly middle-aged men who couldn't be bothered to drive into Oakland for regular season wins anymore. The people constantly complaining about "cupcakes" were not 25-year olds.
 
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MarshallGoldberg

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FWIW if you're trying to get new tickets or to move around, there are some very good seats available now. We just moved up to take the four seats in one of those mini-front rows (granted, corner seating isn't the best angle, but I'll be happy to not have some jagoff in front of me this year.)
 

Fsgolfdr

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I really don't believe this is true. The fans most delusional about our football program are the ones who have been following it the longest.

The people who chased out Dixon were the wealthy boosters who felt their donations should be buying championships and miserly middle-aged men who couldn't be bothered to drive into Oakland for regular season wins anymore. The people constantly complaining about "cupcakes" were not 25-year olds.
Pitt was a very hard ticket to get until they joined the ACC . With each succeeding yr the Pete was emptying out . The fans that joined the party all left once the W’s started becoming harder to get . These Johnny came lately fans didn’t cause the change , but they are the ones who stopped attending games and supporting Pitt bb . They believed Pitt was just going to continue racking up 25-30 win seasons .
 

levance2

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The fans that joined the party all left once the W’s started becoming harder to get . These Johnny came lately fans didn’t cause the change , but they are the ones who stopped attending games and supporting Pitt bb .
This is false. Once Pitt succeeded in selling out the Pete, they made very little effort to ever attract anyone new. The reason it emptied out is because they never converted those 10+ years of Oakland Zoo students into season ticket holders. The ADs were more than happy to keep siphoning money from 40-60 year olds, tricking them into bidding against each other for seats every year.
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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This is false. Once Pitt succeeded in selling out the Pete, they made very little effort to ever attract anyone new. The reason it emptied out is because they never converted those 10+ years of Oakland Zoo students into season ticket holders. The ADs were more than happy to keep siphoning money from 40-60 year olds, tricking them into bidding against each other for seats every year.


They spent years selling the myth of "sold out with season tickets" so that young fans didn't think they could buy tickets. If your goal was some sort of PR thing then it may have been a good idea. If your goal was to actually sell tickets it was epically stupid.
 

CaptainMurphy

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This is false. Once Pitt succeeded in selling out the Pete, they made very little effort to ever attract anyone new. The reason it emptied out is because they never converted those 10+ years of Oakland Zoo students into season ticket holders. The ADs were more than happy to keep siphoning money from 40-60 year olds, tricking them into bidding against each other for seats every year.

Right. I'm also wondering how many people left with the seat donation policy that happened around 06. Games were still sold out then but I wonder if it shortened the waiting list for tickets. And when the losing started and people left, there weren't people waiting to take those seats.

I gave up my season tickets after the 05-06 season due to work travel. But I wasn't really happy with the way they were changing the seat selection model.
 

levance2

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They spent years selling the myth of "sold out with season tickets" so that young fans didn't think they could buy tickets. If your goal was some sort of PR thing then it may have been a good idea. If your goal was to actually sell tickets it was epically stupid.
I was a student right in the heart of Pitt's run of success, and never once in my four years did anyone from the athletic department ever even suggest to us that we should become season ticket holders.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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I really don't believe this is true. The fans most delusional about our football program are the ones who have been following it the longest.

The people who chased out Dixon were the wealthy boosters who felt their donations should be buying championships and miserly middle-aged men who couldn't be bothered to drive into Oakland for regular season wins anymore. The people constantly complaining about "cupcakes" were not 25-year olds.
Actually 25 year olds werent going. Games at the Pete were like an AARP convention. All old people with donor seating, many of whom only went to like 25% of the games. Pitt did very little to bring in young fans during the glory days. Now those fans are 40 and have never really been to the Pete because when they could finally get tickets, the team started sucking real bad
 

Sean Miller Fan

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The ADs were more than happy to keep siphoning money from 40-60 year olds, tricking them into bidding against each other for seats every year.
100% spot on. That was literally their strategy. At best, it was unethical, at worst it was a fraudulent scam. I'd like to know where all the money went. The second we had a coaching opening, we went el cheapo.
 
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levance2

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Actually 25 year olds werent going. Games at the Pete were like an AARP convention. All old people with donor seating, many of whom only went to like 25% of the games.
That is exactly what I said. The people who were paying season ticket holders were absolutely the ones most familiar with the history of the program. These were middle-aged guys who had barely ever had a reason to care about basketball in the last 20-30 years, and they all jumped on the bandwagon. It didn't take long for winning 20 games a year to turn boring and they went back to complaining like they had for the 20-30 years previously.

The fans that discovered Pitt basketball during the Howland-Dixon eras were not the ones complaining.
 

ThePanthers

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Pitt bb is in a bad place and until Pitts administration wants to win nothing much will change .
Why don't they want to win? What qualifies as wanting to win? Paying a huge buyout for a bad coach? Upgrading the pete, locker rooms etc to help recruiting? Flipping the court and moving the students into the best seats to get them engaged? Paying in the top half of the conference for their coach?

Or is it just paying recruits under the table that counts??
 
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Sean Miller Fan

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That is exactly what I said. The people who were paying season ticket holders were absolutely the ones most familiar with the history of the program. These were middle-aged guys who had barely ever had a reason to care about basketball in the last 20-30 years, and they all jumped on the bandwagon. It didn't take long for winning 20 games a year to turn boring and they went back to complaining like they had for the 20-30 years previously.

The fans that discovered Pitt basketball during the Howland-Dixon eras were not the ones complaining.
If we could go back in time, what I'd do is make a Young Alumni section of about 2000. Maybe 1000 for less than 5 years since graduation and 1000 for less than 10 years. Cultivate that fanbase and convert them to regular season ticket holders when they hit their early 30s.

We scammed the old people out of their money and when they stopped coming, there was nobody left.

Its amazing we were paying ADs in the high 7 figures for such incompetence. I mean even next year, you watch Pitt will have season ticket prices MUCH higher than comparable programs (GT, Miami, BC, NC St)