City Planning Commission approves Victory Heights project


Image via Pitt Athletics

A concept rendering of an entrance to the planned Victory Heights Arena and Sports Performance Center.

By Alexandra Ross, Assistant News Editor

The Pittsburgh City Planning Commission voted Tuesday to approve construction of a 240,000-square-foot arena and sports performance center on Pitt’s upper campus. The approval marks another step forward in Pitt’s Victory Heights project, which aims to substantially expand the University’s athletic facilities. 

Pitt announced Victory Heights, which is part of the University’s Campus Master Plan, in January 2020. The University’s Property and Facilities Committee officially approved the $244 million project in November 2022. 

The planned arena will seat 3,000 people and host Pitt’s gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling teams — each of which currently practices and competes in the Fitzgerald Field House. The performance center will “serve the strength and conditioning, sports medicine, nutrition, and mental well-being needs” of 16 Pitt athletics programs, according to Pitt Athletics

Heather Lyke, director of athletics, told 93.7 The Fan and KDKA Radio in March that with the completion of the Victory Heights project, “our facilities will finally match our expectations.”

“We want to win national championships and ACC championships, and I don’t know that our facilities say that right now,” Lyke said. “The Field House is tired. We have wonderful memories there, and we love it. But it is time to really upgrade. It will really enhance our student-athlete experiences.” 

Initial construction on upper campus has already begun, and Lyke told The Fan that the University is planning an official groundbreaking celebration for later this month. Construction of the arena and sports performance center is set to finish by the fall of 2025.