Pitt Stadium: Wikis


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Pitt Stadium
Full name Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Coordinates 40°26′38″N 79°57′44″W / 40.443777°N 79.962274°W / 40.443777; -79.962274Coordinates: 40°26′38″N 79°57′44″W / 40.443777°N 79.962274°W / 40.443777; -79.962274
Broke ground August 7, 1924
Built August 1924 to September 1925
Opened September 1, 1925
Closed November 13, 1999
Demolished December 1999
Owner University of Pittsburgh
Operator University of Pittsburgh
Surface Grass (1925–1969)
AstroTurf (1970–1983, 1990–1999)
SuperTurf (1984–1989)
Construction cost US$2.1 million
Architect W. S. Hindman
Capacity 56,500-69,400
Pittsburgh Panthers football, soccer, track & field (1925-1999)
Pittsburgh Panthers basketball (1925-1951)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1958–1969)

Pitt Stadium was a stadium located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1925 to 1999. It served primarily as the home of the University of Pittsburgh's football team, the Pittsburgh Panthers. It was also used for other University of Pittsburgh sporting events, including basketball, baseball, rifle, track, and gymnastics. Designed by University of Pittsburgh graduate W. S. Hindman, the US$2.1 million stadium was built after the seating capacity of the Panthers' previous home, Forbes Field, was found lacking. Pitt Stadium also served as the second home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the city's National Football League (NFL) franchise. After demolition, the Pittsburgh Panthers football team played home games at Three Rivers Stadium in 2000, before moving to Heinz Field in 2001.


The Pittsburgh Panthers played home games at the Pittsburgh Pirates' Forbes Field from 1909 to 1924, however, due to tickets reserved for alumni and students the capacity of Forbes Field was not sufficient to allow the general public to also purchase tickets. The University purchased nine acres of land adjacent to property already owned by the school for the Pitt Stadium's site. The University, as well as private donations, provided US$2.1 million for site acquisition and erection of the stadium. Graduate of the University, W. S. Hindman was the stadium's designer and engineer. The Turner Construction Company built the stadium from August 7, 1924 to September 1, 1925. The 791 feet (241 m) by 617 feet (188 m) stadium was designed to hold a capacity of 69,400.[1] By the 1940s, the stadium could no longer hold the maximum that it was designed for due to new safety rules from the city fire marshall that prohibited temporary bleacher seats on the rim of the stadium and in the track area. The Department of Athletics, to provide comfort to larger spectators, also widened seats from sixteen to eighteen inches reducing the final capacity to 56,500.[2] The original grass surface was replaced with AstroTurf in 1970. In 1984, SuperTurf was installed, but after six years AstroTurf once again became the stadium's playing surface. In the late 1970s, the original seventeen miles of wood seating was replaced with metal bleachers. Temporary lighting was installed at Pitt Stadium in 1985, but was made permanent before the 1987 season. A scoreboard was installed at the eastern end of the stadium in 1995; this was followed in 1997 with the installation of the PantherVision videoboard, which allowed fans to see instant replays of the games.[3] The highest attended game took place on October 29, 1938, when 68,918 spectators saw the Panthers defeat Fordham 24–13.[4]

The Pittsburgh Steelers played home games at Forbes Field from their 1933 inception to 1957. From 1958 to 1963, the Steelers split home games between Forbes Field and Pitt Stadium. Fans were able to purchase season ticket packages for one site or the other. In 1964, the Steelers began to play home games exclusively at Pitt Stadium, which they continued until moving to Three Rivers Stadium in 1970.[5]

Pitt Stadium at the University of Pittsburgh prior to its last game — 1999

The final game at Pitt Stadium took place on November 13, 1999, when the Panthers defeated Notre Dame 37–27.[6] Some of the 60,190 spectators—the largest crowd in 16 years[7]—ran onto the field with 9 seconds remaining in the game, tearing both field goal posts down and removing pieces of turf.[8] The Panthers played their home games of the 2000 season at Three Rivers Stadium, before moving to Heinz Field in 2001. Beginning in December 1999, Pitt Stadium was demolished. Concrete from the stadium was ground and left on site for use in the Petersen Events Center and student housing which was built at the site.[9]


The Pitt Pavilion

Located underneath the ramps of the football stadium, the home of the basketball team from 1924 to 1951 was The Pitt Pavilion, which held 4,000 spectators. With one dressing room, visiting teams were forced to use the visiting football locker room to dress and walk 60-yards outdoors to get to the Pavilion. Future coach John Wooden and Notre Dame's Moose Krause played against the Panthers at the Pavilion. While at the Pavilion the Panthers had an undefeated season in 1928. The Pavilion also hosted WPIAL playoff games and pre-season games of the Pittsburgh Rens. In March 1951, the Panthers won the the final game at the Pavilion in the last seconds of the game.[10] The basketball team moved to the Fitzgerald Field House the following season.[11]


  1. ^ 1999 Pitt Football Media Guide. 1999. pp. 212. http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittathletics&cc=pittathletics&idno=31735038318790&q1=1999&frm=frameset&view=image&seq=214. Retrieved 2009-09-05.  
  2. ^ Alberts, Robert C. (1986). Pitt :the story of the University of Pittsburgh, 1787-1987. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 222. ISBN 0822911507. http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittmiscpubs;cc=pittmiscpubs;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Milligan;rgn=full%20text;idno=00c50130m;didno=00c50130m;view=image;seq=242;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  3. ^ Football media guide 1999, p. 213
  4. ^ Football media guide 1999, p. 214
  5. ^ Bouchette, Ed (1994). The Pittsburgh Steelers. Macmillan Publishers. p. 82. ISBN 9780312113254. http://books.google.com/books?id=qMqnE6Rboe4C.  
  6. ^ Anderson, Shelly (14 November 1999). "Pitt comes up with a truly grand finale, stunning Notre Dame, 37-27". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/sports_pitt/19991114pittfb1.asp. Retrieved 7 January 2009.  
  7. ^ Collier, Gene (14 November 1999). "Pitt Stadium goes out with a bang". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19991114stadium1.asp. Retrieved 7 January 2009.  
  8. ^ Ostendorf, Kristen; Michael A. Fuoco (14 November 1999). "Exuberant fans keep their cool after triumph". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19991114Aftermath5.asp. Retrieved 7 January 2009.  
  9. ^ Anderson, Shelly (12 November 1999). "End of an Era: Pitt Stadium's final game signals first step of many changes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/sports_pitt/19991112whatsnext6.asp. Retrieved 7 January 2009.  
  10. ^ University of Pittsburgh basketball media guide (2004–2005). Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh. 2004. p. 257. http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittathletics;cc=pittathletics;q1=Pitt%20Stadium;rgn=full%20text;idno=31735038318790;didno=31735038318790;view=image;seq=215;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;.  
  11. ^ Football media guide 1999, pp. 213
Preceded by
Forbes Field
Home of the
Pittsburgh Panthers football

Succeeded by
Three Rivers Stadium
Preceded by
Motor Square Garden/Trees Gymnasium
Home of the
Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball

Succeeded by
Fitzgerald Field House
Preceded by
Forbes Field
Home of the
Pittsburgh Steelers

Succeeded by
Three Rivers Stadium


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