Petersen Events Center

stadium_name = Petersen Events Center
nickname = "The Pete"

location = 3719 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
broke_ground = June 15, 2000
opened = April 27, 2002
closed =
demolished =
owner = University of Pittsburgh
operator = SMG Facility Management
surface = Hardwood Basketball Court
construction_cost = $119 million
architect = Apostolou Associates
Rosser International of Atlanta
tenants = Pittsburgh Panthers (NCAA) (2002-Present)
Pittsburgh Xplosion (CBA) (2006-Present)
seating_capacity = 12,508

The John M. and Gertrude E. Petersen Events Center (more commonly known as the Petersen Events Center or 'The Pete') is a 12,508-seat multi-purpose arena on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It hosts the men's and women's Pitt Panthers basketball teams. The arena is named for philanthropists John Petersen and his wife Gertrude, who donated $10 million for its construction. [] John Petersen, a Pitt alumni, is a native of nearby Erie, Pennsylvania and is the retired President and CEO of Erie Insurance Group.


The arena opened in 2002 on part of the former site of Pitt Stadium, which housed the university's football team from 1925 - 1999. The Pitt men's and women's basketball programs make their home here, previously residing in Fitzgerald Field House. The new building, due to its larger capacity, also meant that Pitt no longer had to play certain games or hold graduation ceremonies at the Civic Arena.

Its first event was a Counting Crows concert. For concerts the Center seats 9,000 for end-stage shows, 14,763 for center-stage shows. The first official women's basketball game at the Pete was 90-51 win over Robert Morris University on November 22nd, 2002. The first official men's basketball game at the Pete was an 82-67 win over Duquesne University on November 23rd, 2002. Since its creation, the Pitt men's basketball team has compiled a record of 94-10 at the Pete.

In 2006, the Pittsburgh Xplosion, a professional basketball team in the Continental Basketball Association played its first game at the arena.


With 430,000 total square feet, the Pete seats 12,508 for basketball and 9,000 for end stage concerts. The arena features convert|16000|sqft|m2 of lobby space with convert|90|ft|m|sing=on high ceilings, 18 luxury suites, including five courtside luxury suites (the only college arena with courtside suites) and a 193-seat SuperSuite. []

tudent section

The section known as the Oakland Zoo is composed of the sections across from the team benches and next to the court. "Oakland" refers to the neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh where The Pete resides. The students in the Zoo wear gold T-shirts with the words "Oakland Zoo" in some way, shape or form across the front. This layout and unity is a large factor in why the Pete is such a tough place to play for opposing teams. In fact, Pitt has lost only one home non-conference game since the Panthers moved into the Pete. []

In 2006, "Sports Illustrated" surveyed the Big East Conference's basketball players, and the Pete was named the "Toughest Place to Play," with specific players mentioning the Oakland Zoo and the fans' creativity. In 2007, "The Pete" hosted first and second round games of the NCAA Women's Division I Tournament.

Other uses

The Petersen Events Center serves as more than just the home court of the Panthers basketball teams. Located within the facility is a convert|40000|sqft|m2|sing=on Baierl Student Recreation Center featuring four racquetball courts, two squash courts, Cybex weight machines, a free wight area, aerobics practice room, martial arts room, health assessment area, and aerobic area with treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical and Stairmaster machines and four plasma TVs.

In addition, the McCarl Panthers Hall of Champions, which pays homage to and displays memorabilia from past Pitt athletics achievements, and the official Pittsburgh Panthers Team Store are located in the main lobby of the Pete. []

The arena is also one of the home courts for the Pittsburgh Xplosion Continental Basketball Association team, the city's only professional basketball squad.

The Pete, or Mellon Arena will also host the Continental Basketball Association 2009 All-Star game and skills competition.

A food court located within the Pete is also available available to students and others during the weekdays in addition to when events hosted within the arena. []

The arena also features and auxiliary practice basketball facility, athletic training, office and media facilities.

Notable events

*2004 Jeopardy! College Championship
*2005 Senior Olympics (headquarters, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, table tennis) [ [ Petersen Events Center expected to be hub for National Senior Games] ] [ [ PG: Senior Olympics: Today's Schedule] ]
*2007 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship - first and second round games
*2008 April 21st, 2008 Senator Barack Obama Presidential campaign rally
*2008 U.S. Transplant Games (closing ceremonies) [ PG: Schedule for the 2008 U.S. Transplant Games]


External links

* [ Petersen Events Center]
* [ Pitt Magazine feature on the Pete: Center of Attention]
* [ Pittsburgh Xplosion Website]
* [ Point Park University teams up with Pittsburgh Xplosion]


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