Victory Heights Happening?

Pitt’s facilities have been much maligned both publicly and on this blog.  Sounds like that may be changing.

Per the Pitt Sports Information Department:

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke will host a 1 p.m. press conference on Tuesday, January 14, at the Petersen Events Center, where they will reveal plans for Pitt’s Victory Heights athletics facility project. 

The press conference will entail a speaking and visual presentation on the court, followed by a reporter question and answer session held in the media suite. In addition to Chancellor Gallagher and Athletic Director Lyke, attending media will have interview opportunities with Volleyball Coach Dan Fisher, Wrestling Coach Keith Gavin, Gymnastics Coach Samantha Snider and Track and Field/Cross Country Coach Alonzo Webb.

Here is the text of a University Times Article published in Oct 2018 for your reference:

By SUSAN JONES

Pitt’s 30-year, comprehensive, master plan, which was revealed last week, has big ambitions.

“We’re not just trying to build buildings,” said Greg Scott, senior vice chancellor for Business and Operations. “It’s really to advance the mission of Pitt and take us reputationally to the next level.

“This is a very different process than Pitt’s ever gone through, and that was to develop a plan that’s in conjunction with the Pitt community and the Pittsburgh community,” Scott said. “And our feeling was that, if we did that, we’d develop a plan that was much stronger than us just doing it ourselves.”

Pitt officials have spent the past year getting input on and off campus, from more than 8,700 people at 40 listening sessions and other events.

And now that the draft plan has been finalized, there will be a series of meetings on Oct. 8 and 9 to get comments from all interested parties.

“We’re feeling good about the process we went through to develop (the plan),” Scott said. “And I think we’ve been successful, but time will tell over the next couple weeks as we get feedback from the community.”

Some of the general goals of the multi-year plan include:

  • Creating a student-centered corridor from the Bouquet Gardens apartment buildings to new housing on the upper campus. The upper, middle and lower campuses would be connected by a multi-story recreation center where the O’Hara parking garage is now. The recently renovated Schenley Quad figures into this part of the plan.

  • Establishing a tech-science-medical corridor along O’Hara Street from a new building complex at One Bigelow, behind the former Pittsburgh Athletic Association, to a redone Crabtree Hall behind the Graduate School of Public Health. A walkway would link the Swanson School of Engineering, Crabtree Hall, and the newly announced UPMC Heart and Transplant Hospital in front of UPMC Presbyterian.
  • An Integrated Health Sciences complex, where Lothrop Hall now stands, that would house Nursing, Dental Medicine and lab facilities for all of Health Sciences and also would connect to the new UPMC hospital.
  • An athletics-oriented neighborhood, Victory Heights, on the space above Petersen Events Center on the upper campus.
  • Projects to create a distinctive urban, campus-like feel. For instance, areas along Bigelow Boulevard near the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union would be re-landscaped to support sustainability and to prevent jaywalking, and a mid-block crosswalk would be added. On O’Hara Street, the parallel parking would be removed, the sidewalks widened and more greenery added.
  • An Innovation District on and near Forbes Avenue, in which Pitt would encourage companies, professionals and amenities to come into Oakland and help transform it, particularly by putting businesses close to the research facilities. The master plan identifies sites that are the size to hold these companies. Some are properties Pitt owns, but not all. Scott said the master plan developers said, “Pitt is punching well below its weight on the opportunities to develop an innovation district.”

Here’s a rundown of some of the plan highlights.

Rec center for all

A new recreation center, where the O’Hara parking garage is now, is one of the top priorities of the plan. Scott said he envisions work starting on the center in the next three to four years.

It would have an entrance on O’Hara Street and on the upper side of the building. A new parking garage would be built behind the planned rec center first, then the O’Hara garage, which Scott said needs quite a bit of maintenance, would be torn down. The new multi-use facility would be open to students, faculty and staff.

“We have some true issues or deficiencies that have not been addressed in a long time, and rec is a perfect example,” Scott said. “There’s just not a facility on campus that’s really sufficient.

“We originally thought it would be up by the Petersen Events Center. I really thought at first that would be the ideal location, but we kept hearing mid-campus — people aren’t going to want to walk up the hill to get to it,” he said. “I think we ended up with a great solution … through this back and forth and pushing ourselves and really thinking hard about what it could be.”

The center also will create an avenue for vertical movement between the mid and upper campuses.

More and better housing

Scott said a recent housing study and market analysis found Pitt could fill 1,000 more beds in on-campus housing, in addition to the 8,000 it has now. Because the plan calls for the demolition of Forbes Hall, which has 500 beds, and Lothrop Hall, with 800 beds, more than 2,000 beds will need to be added to meet that number.

Other housing plans include:

  • Adding new buildings at Bouquet Gardens and making the current buildings more densely populated. This would add 1,000 beds to the 1,000 that are there currently. The Bouquet complex also would be made more urban and outward facing, with possible retail outlets on the first floors and a pedestrian walkway to connect Roberto Clemente Drive with Oakland Avenue.
  • Making Litchfield Towers less dense, by adding lounges and taking some rooms away, “to make it a better living experience for the students,” Scott said. Bathroom renovations, which were completed in one of the Towers last year, also will continue.
  • Eventually building North Campus housing with 500 beds.

New construction on Pitt-owned property

There are several other new buildings or additions, all on property currently owned by Pitt, in the plan.

Student Academic Success Center: This would be between Hillman Library and Lawrence Hall and would have space for clubs and other student-related activities, as well as some of the resources now found in the O’Hara Student Center.

One Bigelow: The parking lot behind The Oaklander Hotel, now under construction on Bigelow Boulevard, would be replaced by two buildings with a green space between and would eventually house the School of Computing and Information.

Posvar Hall addition: Scott said undergraduate Business Administration, which is mostly in Sennott Square now, could eventually move into an addition on the Bouquet Street side of Posvar.

O’Hara Street development: A new building dedicated to applied science and more space for engineering would replace the O’Hara Student Center and the Gardner Steel Conference Center.

Salk Hall annex: In addition to the renovations to historic Salk Hall, which were approved by the Board of Trustees last week, an annex behind the main building is included in the master plan.

Crabtree Hall redevelopment: A new taller building would become a “real connector between Health Sciences and Engineering,” Scott said, citing Pitt’s unique situation of having those two disciplines located so closely together and working jointly on so much bioengineering research.

Expanding and bringing together athletic facilities

The athletic complex would add two new facilities — an indoor track and the Human Performance Center, which will replace the Fitzgerald Field House and be located where the OC Parking Lot is currently.

Petersen Events Center could get a minor expansion near the lawn area, and the fitness center in the building would be replaced by the new nearby rec center, so that space would open up for other uses.

The lot where the field house is now could be used for a parking garage, housing or an academic building, Scott said.

And what about parking?

All these changes will definitely have an impact on parking, but Scott said, “Our goal is that we wouldn’t lose any parking …, but we may shift it to the peripheral of campus. … Everybody wouldn’t be directly beside every building.”

Pitt is talking to partners just on the edge of campus about collaborating on some parking facilities — what Scott calls “intercept garages” — from which people could be shuttled onto campus

The replacement for the O’Hara Street garage will have 600 spaces, up from 450 in the current building, and there would be some parking underneath the Human Performance Center, where the OC lot is now.

Scott said the city’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit system from downtown Pittsburgh to Oakland on Forbes Avenue and back on Fifth Avenue could help alleviate some traffic in Oakland.

What’s next?

“Now that we’re here and we have general buy-in … we can really start to lay out the plans and schedules,” Scott said.

The feedback meetings over the next month will help Pitt refine the plan, then the city must approve Pitt’s regularly submitted institutional master plan. After that, Pitt can identify the individual projects it wants to tackle first.

Scott said work would begin in the spring on the landscaping around Bigelow Boulevard. The new rec center and expanded housing at Bouquet Gardens are top priorities, along with the One Bigelow buildings, the athletic complex expansion and the Integrated Health Sciences facility.

Funding will come from a variety of sources, including fundraising, bonds for the debts, University reserves and the roughly $250 million set aside annually in the capital budget. The state also gives Pitt capital funds separate from the operating budget. For 2017-18, Pitt received $40 million from the state.

175 thoughts on “Victory Heights Happening?

  1. the rec center and housing should be top priorities since they impact the quality of a students campus experience, helps retain students and are very good recruiting pieces for perspectives. Just google college rec centers and you’ll know that Pitt is about 20 years behind on that one.

    i know when they first published this plan there was concern about some historical and architecturally significant buildings being demolished. I’d like to know the plan to save these buildings or at least their facades. I voiced concern that the new venue to house volleyball/wrestling and gymnastics wasnt big enough (only 3,000 seats). I also didnt see any significant upgrades to Trees and the pool side. And then of course there is no MPC as the focal point of the athletic complex.

    I wonder if they will announce any fundraising results. I know they have been talking with the whales and other big boosters. I’m not sure how the casual fan is going to support the athletics project without football being a part of it.

    Pitt is constrained by the amount of debt financing for this project so the bulk of the financing will have to come from fundraising and the monies they allocate each year for capital projects. As you can see $250M shows that Pitt has the money for projects. Its often do they have the will.

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  2. This will ruin the downtown experience for non Pitt personnel. And it’ll only contribute to the already existing noise pollution and does nothing for the skyline. This is a bad idea.

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  3. Disappointing that’s there’s no parcel of land color-coded with blue and yellow stripes and mysteriously labeled “FPS” …

    (As in “Future Pitt Stadium”)…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Pitt could get some significant support if they built a multi-purpose venue that could house larger events (see NCAA regionals, NCAA wrestling tournament (last held at PPG), volleyball tourny (held at PPG), international soccer friendlies or qualifiers, Frozen 4, home for new D-1 hockey team, etc)

    Multiple revenue streams from a venue used all year round and providing homes to more than just one program and being used for more than just entertainment purposes

    last I saw from Nate Silver was that Pitt has about 700k fans. Football that is. Pitt also has about 350k living alumni.

    Lets say Pitt embarks on a fundraising campaign over the next 5 years to generate 70% of the cost for a new MPC. I estimate the cost at $500M for a 45k seat venue with retractable roof and hydraulic floor at one endzone for a hockey/multi-use pit. So can Pitt raise $350M from private donors (aka fans) over 5 years, roughly $70M per year.

    Mind you, Pitt’s current athletic donations stand at about $10M annually.

    Well, using some reasonable assumptions its very possible.

    Heres a matrix showing the potential donation dollars based on some assumptions regarding the percentage of donors and the amount of donation

    700k base of fans
    5 year fundraising period

    Scenario 1
    Assume Avg $ donation of $25 per year
    Contribution % at 20 (meaning 20% of the 700k fans donate) equals $17.5M
    at 40% equals $35M
    at 60% equals $52.5M

    Scenario 2
    Assume Avg $ donation at $75 per year
    20% equals $52.5M
    40% equals $105M
    60% equals $157.5M

    Scenario 3
    Assume Avg $ donation of $125 per year (about $10 per month)
    20% equals $87.5M
    40% equals $175M
    60% equals $262.5M

    So scenario 3 almost gets Pitt there. Again these are various assumptions and the average donation is just that…an average. Some amounts will be more and some less. These figures exclude public or corporate donors…aka naming rights, other marketing signage and exclusive contracts. You might be looking at another $150M right there. And this excludes big private donors like Tepper who could easily stroke a $50M check given he just stroked over $400M for a MLS franchise and the man is worth billions.

    That would leave very little or no debt financing for this project. But does Pitt have the will? I say not.

    Liked by 3 people

          1. if thats a challenge, i’m up for it. I’ll make a list of those original thoughts and I’ll bring the receipts to the ND game this October. Or you can just concede now and the cost will only be a good PA bourbon.

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    1. Tex — interesting when you breakdown the amount of money needed and the possible donation rates.

      It’s a great question —what Pitt fans would be willing to donate for an on-campus New Pitt Stadium Plus…

      (I’ve seen first-hand that we have some very generous souls right here on the POV…)

      I’m not rich, but I’d gladly pitch in at least 50 bucks a month for 5 years if I knew it would lead to an on-campus New Pitt Stadium. (But Pitt better hurry because I’m not sure how many “5 years” I have left…)

      Go Pitt.

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      1. I think most Pitt fans would donate to a great cause. Show whats in it for them and also how it benefits the school and the community.

        Most schools give donors a brick with their name on it. A brick laid onto the pavement of the venues plaza or walkway. A brick thats part of the venues walls. I’m sure if the POV community could cough up a quarter of a million, we could at least have a media room named after the Pitt POV and have our handle names on a dedication wall or door.

        That would be a pretty cool legacy.

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        1. It would.

          I got a brick at PNC Park dedicated to how my parents were great Pirate fans – and great parents. My Dad was gone by then, but my Mom loved it…

          Go Pitt.

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  5. Agree Tex. Housing and rec center is huge for students. Most colleges, even small ones, have very impressive rec centers. Using it to connect the upper and lower campus is a great idea.

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  6. what gauls me is that Pitt is willing to spend $300M on a complex benefiting 4 sparsely attended and unprofitable programs (wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics and track), yet its unwilling to spend $3M on a feasibility study for a on campus MPC.

    Dont get me wrong, track deserves a track. And Fitzgerald and Trees both need demolished. But football pays the bills lets not forget.

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  7. The Bigelow Blvd. Project is already underway, making traffic really difficult right now.

    An OCS is just not feasible without a spectacular infrastructure project for transportation, which would have to be publicly funded. Good luck.

    Every entrance and exit from Oakland is a congested mess almost all of the time. Parkway to Bates St. Fifth,Forbes, Blvd Of the Allies, Center Ave. Ellsworth, take your pick. The T line needs to go from the Downtown through Oakland to Shadyside, Squirrell Hiil and points east. I have sat in traffic for well over an hour to get from the Parkway to the Pete when there is a big game.

    Pitt missed it’s opportunity to purchase the old J&L site to expand the campus, and address many needs like WVU did years ago.

    It is now stuck with putting band-aids on the old campus. Not saying these aren’t needed and won’t be an improvement but Victory Heights will always be pretty inaccessible and separated from the main campus by Cardiac Hill.

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  8. Tx, we aren’t agreeing much today, what’s up with that? Anyways you are the one that comes down heavy on PITT and Heather for finishing last in the directors cup. Isn’t this a plan moving forward to correct that problem/criticism?

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    1. Its a long needed plan first talked about under steve and then given traction under Barnes. ACC driving it. Very dangerous playing volleyball at Fitzgerald with all that floor condensation. Trees and Fitzgerald are embarrassments despite their history. And a damn shame that volleyball and wrestling have to play in that dump. Damn shame pitt still doesn’t have a track after 25 years. I mean what other university does this in P5?

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  9. Well, I don’t think it’s correct to conclude they haven’t done a study just because it hasn’t been made public.
    In fact, and take it for what little it’s worth…but within the last few months I’ve heard from two different people connected to the University that a feasibility study has been done for a football stadium and possible locations were identified. I have no idea of the status beyond that and I have few additional details but I’m confident they’re at least exploring the possibility.

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  10. Tex you have done a great job continuously beating the drum for a football stadium in Oakland, but I believe that hydraulic floors and retractable roofs are likely more in the range of $750M to $900M, unless there are some engineering, construction and cost studies that we are unaware of.

    Additionally, although I agree there isn’t any reason to not embark on a campaign to substantially increase donations to the athletic program by something like 2,525%, it is noble but frankly laughable.

    Not to mention that the parking requirements alone for 45k football stadium likely undermines a substantial portion of the development that has been proposed above. Maybe its been awhile since you have been back home, but let’s be honest with ourselves, there is only so much room in Oakland, especially with the incredibly ambitious expansion plans that UPMC has already in the works in Oakland.

    UPMC has the money, Pitt football has the dream!!

    I hate Heinz Field as much as the next, and I know this blog has had never-ending discussions about pessimism vs. realism so I apologize for sending us down this wormhole, but a football stadium in Oakland is neither economically feasible nor land development practical, without sacrificing something very significant that is being proposed by the Victory Heights project.

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    1. Thank you for the support.

      And yes a MPC if done right is probably closer to $700 million so there would be some needed debt financing.

      I would challenge your thoughts on donations and transportation though

      Big projects get people interested. ambitious ones. You can easily make gifting fun and cool. And show people what’s in it for me. Huge opportunity given the low gifting today.

      And parking is almost a non issue when you have concepts such as Uber, remote off campus parking and Uber air…yes flying cars. I agree that some infrastructure improvements would be needed but not as much as you think. Nothing is insurmountable.

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    1. LVD — how feasible did you think it was to construct a new baseball-only ballpark for the Pirates?

      “On September 5, 1991, Pittsburgh mayor Sophie Masloff proposed a new 44,000-seat stadium for the Pittsburgh Pirates on the city’s North Side.[11] Three Rivers Stadium, the Pirates’ home at the time, had been designed for functionality rather than “architecture and aesthetics”.[11] The location of Three Rivers Stadium came to be criticized for being in a hard-to-access portion of the city, where traffic congestion occurred before and after games.[12] Discussions about a new ballpark took place, but were never seriously considered until entrepreneur Kevin McClatchy purchased the team in February 1996. Until McClatchy’s purchase, plans about the team remaining in Pittsburgh were uncertain.[11] In 1996, Masloff’s successor, Tom Murphy, created the “Forbes Field II Task Force”. Made up of 29 political and business leaders, the team studied the challenges of constructing a new ballpark. Their final report, published on June 26, 1996, evaluated 13 possible locations. The “North Side site” was recommended due to its affordable cost, potential to develop the surrounding area, and opportunity to incorporate the city skyline into the stadium’s design.[11] “

      Maybe you weren’t, but I was quite surprised that PNC Park came to be…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. A feasibility study looks at several factors primarily the following:
      1) Need
      2) Financing
      3) Location
      4) Payback

      There is no immediate need but what is the plan when the Heinz lease expires. Do the Steelers renovate Heinz and accept costly maintenance on an aging facility? Do they implode her and build a new stadium on the same site? Do they move to the suburbs?

      But Pitt does have a need for revenue generation and a MPC can provide multiple revenue streams. Pitt is nearly dead last among P-5 schools in revenues.

      Financing is obtained through private and public donations, cash on hand, some state monies, naming rights, exclusive contracts, other upfront marketing monies, and debt financing. The money can always be found. But is there a will.

      Location is the big sticking point. The ideal location would have been the OC lot and Cost Center. A 45k venue would have fit in that footprint. The only other locations in Oakland would be South Oakland and Panther Hollow. Both would require buying up properties making the project cost climb and extending the timeline for construction; moreover, it would be politically charged.

      The payback depends on those revenue streams. Any single purpose venue would never pay for itself. But a MPC would. Functionality is the key.

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    1. A MPC done right is probably around $700 million. Higher costs in pa due to regulations and labor. It literally could be done for 70 percent of the cost in my republic…the lone star.

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  11. Problem is stadiums are becoming a thing of the past. Study was done a couple years ago by CMU about teams playing in virtual facilities. Minimal seats, piped in crowd noise, all for TV and streaming. That, my friends, is where it will be in 30-40 years. Almost all teams are having trouble filling seats no matter size. Sounds crazy, but that’s where it’s headed.

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    1. So true. I’ve posted links on how changing demographics and attitudes are influencing stadium design, engineering and architecture. Trend is smaller. More Concourse and standing areas. No assigned seating. Use of tech such as real time stats, lighting, sound, WiFi. Virtual.

      And transportation is a small issue if fewer fans will attend in person and there are concepts such as Uber, remote parking and shuttles and yes Uber air. Flying cars exist today.

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        1. Hey Maestro, I would like to report a guy whose posts are bordering on personal attacks. Our friend Luther needs to become acquainted with the rules of the blog.

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  12. NCAA sure seems to have changed it’s tune over the last couple years on granting extra years and letting transfers play right away.

    Which I think is a good thing for the “student-athletes”…

    On Hamlin, he has a ways to go to improve his coverage skills, IMHO, but does he want to keep going to school??

    Go Pitt.

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  13. Right John, needs to add muscle as he’s a tweener right now. A good tackler in college but too small for a safety in the NFL and his coverage skills need to improve. He’ll come back to PITT if the rumor is true. I hear he is back in Pittsburgh right now. Good sign.

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  14. If Hamlin already graduated, he can enroll in a masters program and NEVER go to class. Grades won’t come out until January and the season will be over. Easy peasy!

    Did I hear that Pitt released a 30 year plan? Is that the one to undo the last 40 year plan that has been well executed? Five to ten year plans are the max now. Shoot, someone probably invented the internet in the last 30 years and cell phones. You just can’t plan the next 30 due to rapid advances in technology. Uber flying taxi’s will be here by then. You all can fly in your uber taxi’s to Steeler Stadium.

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  15. Two speeds in life. Fast and Half Fassed. These dudes are fast on both sides…..

    Surprised lawrence hasn’t taken off yet. He made a bad read on the first possession blitz. He ran right into it when his best escape was out to the left center. I am so negative towards pitt players. Equal opportunity monday morning qb here.

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  16. Jurkovec will probably get the okay to play in 2020. That and BC girlfriend made his choice an easy one. He has already sat too long

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  17. and we beat these Cats in 2016…..I think Dabo takes it easy on his ACC foes… but turns on the after-burnets against the biggies….

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  18. Lot of concrete in the plan for Pitt. Could use all that land on top of the hill for a magnificent view of the cathedral and downtown skyline.via a multi use facility. City badly needs light rail or monorail.

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  19. For those of you who say an OCS is not possible, consider what Pitt would do if the Steelers move to Cranberry or Moon Township in another 10 years. There is ZERO possibility that Pitt would join them. Unless of course Pitt wanted 50,000 empty yellow seats instead of the 30,000 that already exist. So where would Pitt play football? Or would they just fold the program. Problem is, you can’t wait 5 to 7 more years to start thinking about it. I’ll repeat: Tex rubs some of you wrong, but he knows his stuff.

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  20. For those of you who say an OCS is not possible, consider what Pitt would do if the Steelers move to Cranberry or Moon Township in another 10 to 15 years. There is ZERO possibility that Pitt would join them. Unless of course Pitt wanted 50,000 empty yellow seats instead of the 30,000 that already exist. So where would Pitt play football? Or would they just fold the program? Problem is, you can’t wait 5 to 7 more years to start thinking about it. I’ll repeat: Tex rubs some of you wrong, but he knows his stuff.

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  21. This is a comment from my long time Pitt bud who reads POV but doesn’t comment. We will call him Cedarcliff71 “This National Championship Game is so far removed from the modest little reality Pitt plays in,its like this game is in some distant galaxy. A galaxy Pitt could never hope to achieve.
    Laissez les bon temps roulez freres

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  22. Dan, Is that French for “penn state sucks”?

    And I agree with Cedar Cliff. These two teams are light years beyond where Pitt plays. In every aspect of the game.

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  23. I don’t buy it Dan, like BigB mentioned earlier. PITT beat Clemson (the eventual national champions that year) in their own Death Valley home field. btw, that PITT win could have possibly kept Clemson out of the playoffs?? Just like PITT kept psu out of the playoffs.

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      1. Watson and three future NFL defensive lineman and a WR among other NFLer’s were playing for Clemson in that game PITT won. You can’t say it’s impossible. It actually did happen.

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        1. I wasn’t taking about Pitt beating Clemson. I was talking about the talent level on the field right now vs the talent level on Pitt’s team. Dans friend is right. This is next level stuff we are seeing. Doesn’t mean they can’t lose a game here or there but damn these guys are some athletes

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    1. And the Dodgers would never leave Brooklyn, the Giants would never leave New York, the Colts would never leave Baltimore, the Browns would never leave Cleveland……beloved franchises moved states. The Steelers would sell out in Washington or Butler County.

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    2. Invested in what way, Ike? Is there anywhere else to put a new stadium on the North Shore? Heinz isn’t going to last forever. Probably has 10-15 years of useful life left.

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    1. If Pitt played and absolutely perfect game and the football gods smiled upon them and Clemson played the worst they could possibly play then yes Pitt might have a chance. It’s basically like Pitt / Eastern Michigan but backwards

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    2. Pitt lost to Virginia at home. And Virginia was destroyed by this Clemson team. Pitt would have no chance. The spread would be 35 points and Clemson would easily cover. It would be the easiest money I ever made since the 5th grade.

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  24. So, if crowds are shrinking to the point that fans will virtually attend the games, why would we even consider spending hundreds of millions on a stadium of our own???

    2 possibilities:
    A. Start tarping off Heinz upper decks, and buy extra tarping (volume discount) to start tarping off the lower tier in a couple years;
    2. Wait till CMU program evaporates, and rent their field 6 times a year. When virtual football finally gets here, chalk off the Cathederal lawn, and play there.

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    1. Spend millions to make millions. Any venue should be mult functional to enhance the revenue streams. Can’t be single purpose only used 6 times a year. Can’t just be used for sports either. Pitt is revenue poor. They need a revenue maker. Hence the MPC idea preferably on campus.

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        1. That’s why it has to be home to more than one program, be used for NCAA events and national/regional events, sporting and non sporting. Has to be a venue making money every day and not just on weekends.

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    1. Dorsett should have been the recipient of one of those Archie Griffin Heisman… far better stats on a team that played a tough national schedule unlike OSU who played 1 tough regular season game per year….I was disappointed in the 11GOAT ….Was expecting 3-4 PITT players!!!!

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  25. Not to worry. Pittsburgh will choke on itself without a big expansion in light rial or monorail. Ever try to drive through the Atlanta suburbs and they have 10/12 lane highways?

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    1. Dallas has 12 lane highways and traffic is among the worst in the nation. If you want to see some bat crap crazy drivers, come down to my neck of the woods. They are worse than Canadians.

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  26. Until there is a solid plan to finance Victory Heights, it will remain an aspirational project on paper. An OCS should have been the centerpiece of this plan but the City politicians would never approve it. If Pitt were to move out of Heinz, the City would not be able to keep the Steelers in the City limits, so the pressure on Pitt to stay is too great. It was a trap move for Pitt to agree to go there.

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    1. Pitt needs to use any leverage it has over those bozo politicians.

      The Steelers do have much invested on the north shore but if they can build a retractable roof stadium to host the super bowl in Washington or butler county, they will do it in a heartbeat.

      The investment group of the Steelers doesn’t need to beg the state or county for funds. They could self finance a stadium. And borrow what little left is needed.

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  27. These players are exponentially better than middle of the road players like Pitt or 95% of the rest of college football. They are the best of the best starting with the two QB’s. Chase is completely off the charts.

    Sorry Ike but our monumental upset was just that and nothing more in the big scheme of things.

    I don’t know where Pitt will play football thirty years from now, but I am 98% sure it won’t ever be in Oakland again. Too young to remember the Duquesne Gardens, but I hated to see Forbes Field go, understood why Pitt Stadium had to go. Sad but time marches on. In many ways Pitt is lucky to have Heinz, without it Pitt might have given up big time football.

    Those facilities were all built when people rode street cars to the events.

    The sad fact is that there is no demand for a Pitt owned and operated stadium on or off campus.

    Tex could start a go fund me site for an OCS if he really wanted to find out the truth.

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    1. I might just take you up on that offer or Michael could do a quick survey among us Poverts. I believe that most would be in favor if Pitt could afford it and if there was a suitable location. Thats what a feasibility study is for. But Pitt needs a way to generate far greater revenues and this MPC is such a vehicle.

      Pitt Stadium was on campus for 70 years. Parking and ingress and egress were always issues but people dealt with it. There are actually more parking spaces in Oakland today than 20 years ago. And there is this thing called remote parking and shuttle buses that work well for many schools including Notre Dame. And finally, any young alumni in the future or even young fan is going to take Uber Air anyway.

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      1. Everyone in theory would prefer an on campus stadium. The problem is in those details you speak of, money and suitable location. The biggest problem is infrastructure including transportation. Oakland is much more of a congested mess than it was twenty years ago.

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        1. and there are solutions for transportation. If a venue is to be built, it has to be built with the fan in mind and how transportation will be 20-30 years from now. Any new building not only serves existing fans and needs but the smart planners, architects and engineers build facilities for future generations in mind and how the world will look. Once you accept this mindset, you’ll see that talk about transportation and parking is just silly. But I do own a Tardis.

          Like

        1. do some research and talk with city planners. i dont lie Luther Vandross.

          and you miss the big picture. if you can see the future, you will quickly realize that this perceived parking issue is really not an issue at all.

          I’ll see you at Frans tailgate at the ND game in October. I’m not one that hides behind silly handles. If you call me a liar, at least be man enough to do it directly in my face.

          Like

  28. Anyone see the targeting late in the game by the LSU player that the announcers didn’t even mention?

    I hope they re-examine how this targeting rule is supposed to work. Seems pretty arbitrary right now…

    Maybe with Clemson losing a player in the big game, something will be done…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. video replay/review should have identified that – I was livid…not full crown of head but definitely TARGETING!

      there were other misses too but that one was egregious and shouldn’t happen after the one called earlier

      thought the PI calls were inconsistent through the game too

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Major – I’m glad they are trying to address concussions/head injuries, the rule as written stinks.
      They need to account for when the ball carrier lowers his his into the defender’s helmet.
      Perhaps consider going to a model where helmet to helmet is 15 yards and if appears the player was reckless or intentional in leading with the head, then apply the suspension.

      Like

      1. I agree JoeL, the intention is good.

        But the hit on the Clemson QB with around 4 min left was worse than the hit by the Clemson LB that got him tossed. The LSU guy hit directly helmet to helmet on the QB.

        They showed a replay, but still no one said a word about it… Maybe it’s okay to “target” late in a game when the outcome has been decided…☹️

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  29. Buck up POVers. Last year Joe Burrows threw for 16 TDs, this year he threw for 60.

    This year, Pickett/Patti threw for 16 TDs, so it stands to reason that …..

    Liked by 2 people

  30. as a non-alum, I have been hesitant to comment on the OCS issue as well as other plans for Pitt athletics.

    as far as an OCS … the best and most detailed feasibility study I ever saw was presented to us on The Blather about 4 or 5 years ago, and it required moving existing campus buildings.

    as far as plans for other Pitt sports …. some POVers were asking for a long term plan, well you got it. Any plan is going to have its critics and is going to have its good points and bad points. My view as one who worked in Oakland for a few years, anything that will make the Pitt campus look more like a college campus is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree.

      anything that will make Pitt look and feel like a campus.

      some complaints that I hear from ‘strangers’ or visitors is that there is not enough green space, dangerous to walk and of course the usual urban stuff like overcrowding, noise, pollution and traffic. Its an urban city school…thats what you get and gives it its charm and character. BTW – the architectural aspects of Pitt campus are rarely matched by other schools and I’ve traveled to probably over 30 P-5 campuses.

      But I do agree they need more green and to be more pedestrian friendly.

      In Dallas, they build parks above their highways given space constraints. I can come up with at least 50 good and practical ideas for Oakland and I’m not an urban planner. Why has it taken Pitt this long?

      And as Huff said, 30 year plans are quite frankly stupid. 90% of what is planned is never done.

      Climate and technology is changing so quickly, you need to literally be planning for today and not far off into the future.

      I will be interested to see what projects have been greenlighted and how much monies have been raised or are still needed from private donors. I dont think Tepper donated a penny to this project. I dont think he would have donated if he found that penny on the sidewalk. And thats a shame. Pitt must have provided him with a bad experience. When youre treated like a number, you get erased.

      Like

    2. my original plan called on moving the Frick Fine Arts building to Schenley Plaza about 100 yards away, and building a MPC right below it down the hill. this area is not part of Miss Schenley’s deed or will and can be touched by the city if leaders ever developed the backbone or balz.

      there are about 40 homes there and a large open parking lot. i talked with engineers to know that moving Frick on ‘rollers’ is possible….think space shuttle.

      a 45k venue cut into that hillside is possible. the footprint is large enough…it would be snug so no outside parking but parking garage under the venue. and the north end would provide a fantastic view of Cathy as the young ones call her these days.

      the beauty is that going to this new venue is all downhill and very close to dorms. moreover, there is an active train line that runs through the hollow. this could be used to ‘shuttle’ in fans from remote parking areas along the train route.

      there are of course issues with the location – extra cost of moving Frick, buying up properties, flack from South Oakland residents. we had an architect from HDK? develop renderings. if I can find them and post, I’ll do it. they were pretty cool. I heard 5 years ago that Pitt’s top priority was that rec center but I was also told that several administration figures had inquired about this type of project. So I know its on someone’s mind…maybe EJ’s

      However, I’ve given more thought to it and have produced actual output from my research and discussions with experts than 100% of anyone within the university. this ‘feasibility’ study was done 5 years ago by John Mack (CompLit) and myself. And we didnt charge anyone $3 million for it.

      so while the Victory Heights plan is a good thing for Pitt and Oakland, it really doesnt go far enough. Boldness is not in Pitt’s DNA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Frick Fine Arts is the land that I was told would be the likely spot if it ever moved forward. Logistical issues aside – and it is a tight spot, it would be great for the students and the views!

        Like

  31. I am going to support Ike on this fellas. I think the Clempson defensive coaches picked up on something from Pitt during the 2016 trouncing of the tigers. Specifically, the clempson defensive backs refused to turn their heads to look for the incoming pass from Burreaux. I think they picked up that defensive strategy from our defensive backs and defensive coordinators during our game and since we won, thought it was a generational teaching moment.

    Just trying to be supportive of our coaches and how great they are! It’s a new year!

    30 year plans are like 30 year mortgages. You re-finance really quickly when you realize that it’s just not feasible to do something for 30 years. Also, the people that are supportive of this so called plan will be dead and gone when accountability questions should come into play. It’s a sham! Give me a short term plan 3-5 years and then a long term plan of 10 years. Then stop! Nobody likes 3-5 year plans because it then requires accountability as in “did you do what you said you were going to do?” If yes, new contract. If, mostly, ok. If not, see ya! Why limit your career by requiring accountability for yourself if you don’t have too. I never said our AD was dumb. I just said she wasn’t qualified for P5 and has a steeper learning curve than most because of her background.

    Just bought my hockey playing kid a shirt that read ” Playing Hockey is important, but education is importanter”.

    Like

  32. That definitely was the best QB and best group of receivers by far, similar to when Clemson had Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant. Burrow a remarkably accurate passer. That was the biggest difference, Clemson’s QB was throwing high all day and getting his receivers killed. How many guys will get drafted from that LSU team?

    I agree wwb, Panther Hollow has always been my pick for a stadium right on campus, but not as practical as the J&L property, with access from new Parkway ramps and the Gateway Clippers. The Hill would have worked too with a T-line running out Center Ave. The problem has always been the lack of a Football culture at Pitt and therefore no demand from the alumni.

    The Steelers suck all the demand from the community at large. Most other programs get great support from the public, Pitt gets little because of the Steelers. If the Steelers did move to another city, it would be huge for Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Gordon – “Happy Valley Steelers” has a homey sound to it! And they could share a 100K stadium! Maybe Tomlin and Franklinstein would become BFFs.

    But would 100K delirious “white-out” fans ever go for a “Yellow-out”??

    Like

    1. From the Trib: “Isaiah Humphries alleges in the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, that players made sexual references and gestures, wrestled him to the floor and referenced Jerry Sandusky….

      We are….classless….

      Like

  34. then there’s this …. Dana Holgerson left WVU a year ago to go back to his home area and Univ of Houston. And he shocked many early last season by announcing that he was going to sit the starting QB to redshirt redshirt so he can build the team around him.

    well .. guess who just entered the transfer portal?

    Like

  35. Are you kidding me? Is there no end to the junk that goes on at state penn? Also, is there no end to parents allowing their kids to attend that cesspool of a school? I suppose not.

    Like

    1. Yes it was. I first had my doubts. But then we talked with engineers and surveyed the footprint. My preference was OC lot and cost center or even grabbing land from the Hill district behind trees hall. But the students would still complain about the shuttles up the hill and the walk would kill them. I still dream of a MPC/hotel concept up there. Shove that MPC in the Rooney’s face since they will be able to see it from Heinz.

      Like

      1. I still think Frick is the BEST location by far for a few reasons.

        Placing the stadium in such a high profile location would send a strong message about Pitt’s commitment to football.
        The close proximity to the dorms would also make it almost too easy for students to stumble out of bed on Saturday mornings and get to the game.
        And then there’s the ability for fans to look up while sitting at a game and see the Cathedral ablaze in lights.

        Makes too much sense.

        Like

  36. OT, but interesting nevertheless

    Liked by 1 person

  37. The hazing happens more often than you think. I had a sad chuckle when the article said the players invoked the name of Jerry Sandusky. Heck at Pitt they invoke the name of cornhole. Both are scary and bad figures.

    So what is heather saying right now about Victory Heights? Are they going to name the new sports compliance building after her?

    Like

  38. I have not been on campus in a long time. I look at the plans and see buildings already sitting on South Bouquet where I lived in the scuzziest apartment imaginable my senior year. Enormous cock roaches. The only good thing was the nurses who lived across the courtyard who did not have drapes and liked to keep the lights on.
    And, Helen Clay Frick was a piece of work. I remember her attending organ concerts by Dr Robert Lord. Sat up front, of course, with a huge hat on. All the Pitt admins went nuts trying to make her happy, etc. And, as I recall, she gave very little money to Pitt—but did give us lots of headaches associated with the Fine Arts Building.
    pmdH2P

    Like

  39. Like I said in my New Years prognostications, Victory Heights is scaled down and to me it looks like they plan on going small and cheap.

    Great image for the school. NOT

    Trees enhancements not happening. Fitzgerald stays. Pete addition taking away lawn green space. OC lot for women’s lacrosse. WTF. Cost center staying. No outdoor track and that bubble stays. But heather did get the compliance building.

    Donors didn’t come through. No surprise. They should just scrap the project and start over with a MPC on that OC lot/cost center instead of a women’s lacrosse field. Are you kidding me? At least men’s soccer gets dogs to attend.

    Like

  40. Tex –
    The drum you’ve been beating for an MPC has been heard, but nothing you’ve said would be persuasive to the season ticket holders who go to the games. I’ve been to basketball games when they draw 12,000 and the traffic on Forbes backs up to the parkway, and centre avenue looks like a bad day at the DMV, with cars lined up from Centre Ave to the parking lot next to Petersen.

    I get it, in Texas there are 12 lane highways, and soon flying cars (apparently) and no I’m not a short-sided thinker who doesn’t know how to plan for the future. By the time flying cars are common to most season ticket holders any MPC built will be outdated and substantial improvements or maintenance, or possibly even a new one will be required.

    Uber costs to get to a game that requires Uber to sit in traffic for 30-45 minutes is cost prohibitive. As many students are commuters and live off-campus far enough to have to drive to games so they won’t even be of any help in filling the stadium because they also can’t afford tuition and flying cars.

    Now lets quadruple the traffic from the 10-12,000 fans at the Pete and you have an unmitigated nightmare that most current season ticket holders will not tolerate. Also, any MPC has significant competition for other “revenue generating events” with Heinz field, PNC Park and the Paint Can, not to mention all the other outdoor venues that currently have music acts coming in on a regular basis, with traffic flows that beat the daylights out of what we face in Oakland. As for places to tail-gate, that’s and even bigger joke.

    Again, your missing the point, Pittsburgh isn’t in need of another major sports or festival facility, there is plenty currently available just like in any other major city, which Pittsburgh currently is.

    Question, how many other CITY UNIVERSITIES, share the same amount of very limited space with a nationally renowned, ever-expanding, hospital system that competes head-to-head with every single inch of available space with Pitt. I venture to guess the answer is NONE.

    Like

    1. I get what youre saying

      But traffic challenges were also present back in the 90’s when Pitt had a 55k stadium on campus and far fewer students and far more commuters

      and competition is good. I’d rather have Pitt beat out PPG for the Frozen 4, NCAA regionals and the volleyball tournament and wrestling tournament…both held off campus at PPG the last 2 years. Pitt lost out on about $6 Million in gross revenues from those 2 NCAA events.

      and you think those open lots around Heinz will last forever. the land is too precious. condos already got approved. there is more development to come. all that will be left is about 3 parking garages and you cant tailgate inside those things.

      Pitt is in need of a revenue maker and home to sports programs. Pittsburgh doesnt need this. I could care less about Pittsburgh (DFW is my home). I care about Pitt (thats my school). Your school never leaves you and vice versa.

      Like

      1. But in the 90’s the 55K stadium wasn’t close to being full.
        If you build a 45K OCS… expecting and demanding success… and it comes… the traffic woes would be unlike anything in the 90’s

        Like

        1. It had 35-40k with far less students. Class sizes are 5k today. My day was around 3k. That’s an extra 8k students. Plus far more housing on campus today than 20 years ago.

          A new venue would be at 90 percent capacity. There’s always no shows.
          That’s 40k

          I don’t think traffic would be any worse than what I remember.
          I think that most people don’t remember period

          And personally, I never had a major issue with getting in and out
          I got in early and avoided traffic
          I stayed after the game until the traffic died down and knew my way out of Oakland avoiding any bottlenecks
          Maybe I’m unusual

          I’ve found Heinz to be more of a pain than Oakland
          Again my personal experience

          Like

          1. I followed the same patterns with football games back in the day.
            And am guessing a number here did a swell. But, I don’t think that represents the typical fan.
            Otherwise, everyone would arrive early and leave late….making it a pain for e diehards.

            Like

  41. Seriously, one of the reasons used in justifying the demo of pitt stadium was the opportunity for green space. Yet these Victory Heights plans call for the elimination of the green grass field outside the Pete.

    And then another justication was that the land was just too precious for a building used just six times a year. Yet 25 years later the new Pitt leaders plan to eliminate about 500 parking spaces to place a single purpose field for a sport that fewer than 100 people will watch at about twelve home games per year.

    Track still won’t have an outdoor track and field. And the move out of Fitzgerald is into a venue smaller than most Texas high school gyms.

    Like

  42. Same people piss in my Wheaties daily. Well, I guess that’s ok and all but I see no reason to poo poo the Victory Heights project because I view as a victory. Maybe not as expansive as we all would have liked but it’s most definitely progress even if it doesn’t fit someone’s agenda.

    My ideas would have included to get the T-rail running out to Oakland and widened Bates Street. << That two lane main entrance to a major college is an embarrassment imo.

    I wish that Aaron Donald would have called upon many PITT alumni and made his donation a joint effort and a real game changer and please, that’s not to diminish AD’s great donation.

    Huff the Third, ha ha ha.

    Like

    1. I guess you can call it progress. At least the new digs for volleyball. That’s a must given the floor condensation issues. And the ACC demanding it. But I really question the initiative when there is still no outdoor track. You take away green space. You build a single purpose field on valuable land when it’s not needed…see soccer field for lacrosse. I’m pretty sure these pitt leaders don’t have Pitt degrees or much common sense. Call me underwhelmed. Be big and bold or go home.

      My agenda is to make pitt great. But Pitt is always the butt of jokes thanks to Pitts leaders who truly lack vision and backbone and are just hypocrites feeding the pitt fan a bunch of bull. I have a nose Ike.

      Heather can take this project and shove it. That’s what every big booster said. Am I so wrong?

      Like

      1. Tx, I thought there is a 400 meter outdoor track in the plans?? Although I will defer to you, I’m a piker when it comes to this stuff.

        Like

        1. What’s been approved is the indoor only. That makes no sense. That 13 million dollar bubble is staying. Pitt just doesn’t have the money to do everything they said. Why? Because nobody cares about Olympic sports. The big boosters are all on the football side.

          Like

          1. and guess what just happened? The sun came out.

            That’s not the plans I saw Tx. Like I mentioned, I don’t know what has been approved and quite frankly, I think at the age of 64, I’m good either way. Hail to PITT!

            Like

            1. A plan is just a plan. What actually gets done is another thing. Pitt just doesn’t have the money to do everything they wanted. And they don’t want to bankrupt the university to do it. Good call.

              Again, tough to get big booster support if football is left out. Nobody has common sense at this school. At least volleyball gets a Texas high school gym.

              Like

    2. And if not the T-line, then use the Busway combined with “Bus Rapid Transit” in central Oakland. Lower cost, easier to implement and effective. There ought to be a loop between Oakland and downtown running continously. Add some stations along the MLK Busway in the Strip and into the edge of Bloomfield. The loop empties onto Neville and connects with Fifth. From Fifth to Blvd of the Allies….and Bob’s your uncle.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. ^^ I guess the orthopod’s wife may not have been good looking enough? imo, jimmie “one finger” is a scumbag. I would say psu should be ashamed of themselves but we all know that’s not possible. Yes hazing happens everywhere but it’s unusual to have the head coach at a major university playing a part in it. I wonder how many times he’s gone to visit his long lost Aunt in Homewood after he was first hired and put her on display?

    Yeah, I’m in a salty mood this afternoon. No sunshine will do that to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. The only people drumming for an on campus stadium are out of towner’s who don’t go to games anyways. Heinz is a way better experience for fans. I still get on campus too. It’s not a big deal. The issue is Pitt does not win enough. They draw the same amount of fans to Heinz that hey drew to Pitt Stadium.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How dare you question the great visionary Tex! Just listen to him, and in 5 years you’ll be parking your flying car at Pitt’s very own version of the Carrier Dome!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Meet Tex Jetson……do do do do do do do………his boy elroy……..jane his wife……

            When they go full time driverless cars, you will have uber driverless picking you and dropping you off. No need to park. Parking garages will become as extinct as a 10 win season around here.

            At Tossing, I don’t agree that Steeler Stadium is a better experience. Well, the choice of seats is better, for sure. Not being able to visit the Pitt stomping grounds with my kids at least 6 times a year is not better…and the list goes on. Actually for me, I don’t take them to any games now because I am usually at a college game already. If you want to have a vision, you need to build a brand. The reason we are all pitt diehards is because we all went to games on campus and are tied to pitt. The new kids, not sooo much. There are now lost generations of Pitt diehards because pitt decided to try and be smarter than everyone else…..and wasn’t.

            Like

      1. LVD, we get it: you don’t like Tex. Fine. That’s seems to be your only “contribution” to the POV, one snide remark after another. Not very well done, to boot. It gets to be really tiresome.

        Like

        1. To each their own pistol Pete. If I worried about all the people that find me hard to take I would have grey hair by now…. oh wait a second, I do. But worrying, I don’t do.

          Like

        2. What gets tiresome is bad planning by pitt and lack of leadership. So we eliminate precious green space. We fail to build track an outdoor track. We build the girls lacrosse team a new field when they can use soccer. Fitzgerald remains and must be costly maintained. No major renovations to trees to help swimming. And we depend on donors to pay off a massive debt loan. You’d think government bureaucrats where running things.

          Like

  45. On the hazing…how many of you played HS Football in WPA? I got hazed so bad as a JV Football player at Baldwin, I almost quit. But everyone got hazed including Wannstedt when he was a silly sophomore. I rubbed so many senior thighs and butts on summer camp lunchbreaks, I probably should have gone to Penn State….but when I finally became a senior….ah.

    Perfect that this came out about Franklin and the seniors were accused of asking for “Sanduskys”!

    Like

  46. In the Q and A heather said she got ten significant donations. That’s one seventh of one percent of all pitt fans.

    They will be debt financing and asking future donors to pay off the debt.

    Like

  47. I still like the idea of a Pitt “OCS” at the bottom of Bates….Pitt already has some buildings in the Tech Center down there, including housing the PT Program. I would run closed in lifts from Oakland down to the River to get the students there.

    Like

    1. Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. Let’s get excited about ignoring swimming and track. Let’s get excited about girls lacrosse getting a field when they have no need. Let’s get excited about volleyball moving into a Texas sized high school gym. Let’s get excited about eliminating green space. Let’s get excited about incurring a massive debt load. Let’s get excited about doing one fifth of what they said last October. Who is this jag off?

        Like

  48. Tex…you post too much to be a Pedo or Hoopie troll, and I am guessing you are just very passionate, but my God, dude…I m assuming you are a Pitt alum and I know everything is bigger in Texas, but have you ever posted anything positive ever? Pitt is never going to be elite, in any sport probably. But some of “our” programs have had some modicum of success. YES…I get frustrated at times, but my God, goops program was really solid for a lot of years( even under the great Larry Fine aka Paul Evans) football won a coastal(albeit a weak one), wrestling, volleyball, softball, swimming and diving, even track and field have had success. Could we be better? Yes! Lack of fan support and donations would help tremendously, but my God, there are very few schools that excel academically and athletically across the board, and anything short of that apparently can’t please you. I respect your opinion, and not looking for a back n forth war, but you are a tough guy to please…

    Like

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