Pitt sports venues, ranked

The+Petersen+Events+Center%2C+which+opened+in+2002+on+the+former+site+of+Pitt+Stadium%2C+is+home+to+the+Pitt+men%E2%80%99s+and+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+teams.

Kaycee Orwig | Visual Editor

The Petersen Events Center, which opened in 2002 on the former site of Pitt Stadium, is home to the Pitt men’s and women’s basketball teams.

By Griffin Floyd, Staff Writer

Pitt hosts 19 varsity sports teams, with eight different home fields between them. When you’re on campus for the first time, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go or what teams to see, so here are the definitive rankings for which facility to see first.

  1. Trees Pool, Swim and Dive

Falling to last in our rankings is the dated Trees Pool, home to both the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams. Since it was built in 1962, even people who visited Trees in the ‘70s remember it being ancient. It’s not easy to get to either, a long walk for anyone not living on upper campus. Considering that it doesn’t house a big spectator sport, cold, wet bleachers are the only thing to look forward to at this relic.

  1. Ambrose Urbanic Field, Soccer

Home to Pitt’s soccer teams, Ambrose Urbanic Field is part of the Petersen Sports Complex, built in 2011 and one of the newest facilities on campus. It’s nothing special though, packed between the baseball and softball fields — blocking out what could be a magnificent view of the Pittsburgh skyline — and located at the top of Cardiac Hill. The wind can be brutal, and with only one bleacher section, it quickly fills to standing room at big games. Cramped, chilly conditions detract from the viewing experience.

  1. Carrie Blast Furnaces, Cross Country

The Carrie Furnaces are a relic of Pittsburgh’s steel town heritage, which is why they were chosen for the cross country teams’ home meets. This unique setting makes for a fascinating trip, and a great way to see some of the city’s history, but the location is an issue — the furnaces are located in Rankin, several miles away from campus. Riding a 61B at rush hour, and then tracking another half mile down the gravel driveway is less than ideal, as is calling an Uber. If it wasn’t for the out-of-the-way location, however, the Carrie Furnaces would be a lot higher on the list.

  1. Charles L. Cost Field, Baseball

Pitt’s baseball stadium is part of the Petersen Sports Complex as well. It’s an attractive, clean location, if a bit unspectacular. The Hill rises beyond center field, an interesting backdrop, but hardly breathtaking. There’s nothing really good or bad about Charles L. Cost Field, landing it squarely in the middle.

  1. Fitzgerald Field House, Volleyball and Wrestling

The Fitzgerald Field House is one of the oldest venues on campus, built in 1951. Home to the high-flying basketball team for decades, the Field House has seen a lot of Panther history, and that proud tradition continues today, as it is home to two of Pitt’s highest achieving sports — volleyball and wrestling. While it doesn’t have the size or glamour that The Pete does, the field house provides a close, intense atmosphere, and the sports that reside there are always fun to watch, pushing it up the rankings. 

  1. Vartabedian Field, Softball

Vartabedian Field holds the best features of the soccer and baseball stadiums, outweighing the trio’s disadvantages. On the west side of upper campus, the stadium provides a stunning view of the City skyline and a premium photo opportunity if you’re there at sunset. While an outdoor stadium isn’t ideal in the frigid early spring months, Vartabedian Field is the perfect place to soak in the last rays of summer with the fall ball slate, or enjoy the warmer weather as spring semester winds down.

  1. Heinz Field, Football

Heinz Field, also home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, is a fantastic place to watch a football game, even if it isn’t on campus. Busing to and from the game, and the occasional lack of fans, can be a pain, but nothing beats gameday. Tailgates fill the lots hours before kick-off, and the pregame party spills into the stands as the Panthers take the field. The Panther Pitt is almost always full of enthusiastic student fans and makes Saturdays on the North Shore worth the trek from Oakland. Enjoy Pitt’s iconic rendition of Sweet Caroline from your bright yellow seat as the Panthers battle marquee home opponents like Virginia Tech and Notre Dame this season.

  1. Petersen Events Center, Basketball

Opened in 2002 on the former site of Pitt Stadium, “The Pete” is the crown jewel of Panthers sports. The Oakland Zoo student section has been praised as one of the best in the country by USA Today and Bleacher Report, among others. Both the men’s and women’s basketball programs have suffered recent stretches of mediocrity, but the Zoo remains faithful. All signs today point towards a revitalized Pete sooner rather than later.

Leave a comment.