A New Pitt MPC? Connecting Pitt Athletics Back to Campus

Here is an excellent and very well researched article from our friend Tex…

Well it’s the dog days of summer and its time for the obligatory University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) sports fans discussion of an On-Campus Stadium (OCS) or my preferred concept – a Multi-Purpose Center (MPC).

My journey to discovery began back in 2012 when John Mack, aka “Comp Lit”, posted his thoughts about an OCS on Chas Rich’s Pitt Blather blog. His ideas intrigued me so much that I reached out to him to learn more and to discuss things in greater detail.

At first I was skeptical since I figured there was no place to put this national brand identifier for Pitt athletics.  But John had a location in mind behind Frick Fine Arts museum in Panther Hollow area by the train track that would supply a spectacular end zone view of the Cathedral of Learning (which today’s students call her Cathy).  I was sold. 

John created a website, made a non-profit called Panther Hollow Partnership, and I contributed research and commentary while helping spread the word.  We made enough noise that we received the attention of the Pitt News and other media outlets and articles were published on our OCS concept.

The central concept was to build a connection through a tangible object that could link past and future generations, and help bring alumni and fans back to the Pitt campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Our goal then, as is the goal now, is to have Pitt conduct a feasibility study that could objectively identify the costs and benefits.  That’s the first step in a long process but an essential beginning.

Several other schools have performed feasibility studies for proposed on campus stadiums.  The most notable and recent being the University of South Florida (USF).  This school is similar to Pitt and plays in a pro stadium several miles away off campus.  Here is a link to USF’s study:

Correctly done, Feasibility Studies seek to answer these following questions:

  1. Is there a need?
  2. What are the viable site locations?
  3. What is the cost to build?
  4. How would the project be financed and monies found?
  5. What are the appropriate design and architectural aspects?

I’ll attempt to answer these questions in relation to a proposed Pitt MPC.  But I’ll keep things at a high level to avoid getting bogged down into the details at this early stage.  A professional written study typically takes at least twelve months to perform with several parties providing input, research, analysis and spreadsheets (dreaded numbers).  The cost for a Pitt study is likely to be two to three million dollars.

I’ll keep my article conceptual in nature but if you’d like to discuss greater detail behind any topic or solution (example – parking, financials, design), please feel free to email Reed at the email address on the blog’s front page and he’ll forward your emails to me.

A few others have written well informed articles and created websites advocating construction of an on campus football stadium.  I’d like to recognize their research, passion and for being champions of this endeavor.  The concept proposed in this article is the first to mention creating a multi-purpose center, a venue that many sports programs can use and call home.  In addition, this article addresses the impending lease expiration for Heinz Field as the primary impetus for a feasibility study.

First let me start by saying that building a MPC will NOT directly lead to the following:

  1. Increased attendance
  2. Better recruiting
  3. More wins

These are some of the justifications that Pitt (AD Steve Pederson) used in tearing down historic Pitt Stadium and moving off campus to play in a Ketchup bottle (Heinz Field).

And here is a link to the Pitt sports blog Cardiac Hill’s analysis (calling out the inaccuracies) of Pitt’s reasons for the move. 

For 74 years Pitt had a football stadium on campus – from 1925 until 1999.  Pitt mainly neglected the stadium throughout the decades except for the occasional upgrades to the video scoreboard and turf.  It is true the stadium lacked amenities of more modern stadiums such as chair back seating, corporate suites, luxury boxes, multiple concession stands and had these things –

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-7005cfb0852470e70bacdccde6552b21

 In addition, the stadium had a track surrounding the field preventing any Pitt player from leaping into the stands.  The site lines were exceptional with this coliseum like design but intimacy was lacking.  Pitt Stadium eventually became too costly to maintain and opportunity knocked when the Steelers built their new stadium.  The Peterson Events Center (The Pete) was eventually built on the stadium site after demolition.

Now one could make a persuasive argument that at least in the first few years, a new MPC will be a highly sought after destination for fans.  It will be a novelty and quite the attraction.  People will want to get first-hand experience of a venue like no other.  A ticket to most events will be in high demand.  So attendance for football games in particular could improve. 

With higher attendance, the atmosphere improves and provides a better game day experience for everyone including prospective recruits.  Recruits will probably like what they see and this positive experience could lead to more elite talent signing with Pitt.  And elite talent wins games.  So this new facility could just provide Pitt with a true home field and recruiting advantage leading to greater on the field success.

Why a Study?

The Need

The Heinz lease expires in 2031.  But years before then, the Steeler ownership group will be making plans.  They have several options at this point while Pitt has zero.  Let me reiterate.  The university is totally unprepared for this event.  Now the Steelers could renew the lease and continue playing at Heinz.  However, the stadium will be over 30 years old by then and it would require significant remodeling and upgrades. 

These modern stadiums are only designed to last 25 years.  That’s not to say these stadiums will rapidly deteriorate and fall apart, but technology and consumer behavior and fan needs change significantly over two to three decades.  These advances in technology and changes in customer preferences impact the design and functionality of venues and are often very difficult and very costly to retrofit in older stadiums.  

By waiting on events to unfold, Pitt could become hostage to the City and the Steelers, who could then force Pitt into contributing significant monetary sums for upgrades in order to receive a lease extension.  So Pitt’s initial savings by playing off campus at Heinz could quickly evaporate.

A second option would be to build a completely new stadium either on the existing Heinz site or a location in the suburbs.  Any new construction would take two full years to complete.  If the Steelers chose to rebuild in the footprint of Heinz, the Steelers would need to play games at either WVU or Penn State until the new stadium is ready.  I can’t see Pitt ever playing at those two schools for home games nor do I think those schools would be receptive to Pitt playing on their field.  

The Steelers could also choose to continue playing at Heinz until their retractable roof stadium in Cranberry is built.  And then Pitt will be forced to bus students over 20 miles for a game.  

Some might ask, why couldn’t Pitt just remain at Heinz as the primary tenant?  Well, the land is far too valuable to be only used only six times a year.  And Heinz will be an old stadium with high maintenance bills.  Heinz will be imploded.  Its simple economics.

I personally believe the Steelers would build a new retractable roof stadium on the existing location.  The Rooney’s really want to host a Super Bowl and a roof makes it possible.  In addition, there has already been millions of dollars spent on developing the area around Heinz with more future construction in the works.  It’s a perfect place for the Steelers…not Pitt.

So you can clearly see that being a renter, Pitt has limited control and leverage in these decisions.  That’s a scary position to be in.  So what are Pitt’s options?  Well, Pitt can either follow the Steelers and whatever decision they make or Pitt can take matters into its own hands.  An option worth exploring would be building Pitt’s own venue.

Besides taking control over its destiny, why would Pitt want to build their own MPC facility?  There are several tantalizing reasons:

  1. Revenue Engine

Pitt is one of the poorest Power Five (P-5) schools at generating revenues.  A lack of a large and passionate fan base and paltry donations are primary contributors.  But Pitt also does not receive 100 percent of the monies it generates from Heinz because it is only a lease holder.  Pitt doesn’t receive a full cut for either parking or concessions which is several million dollars each year being left on the table. 

A facility owned by Pitt could be used to host a multitude of events such as NCAA tournaments, international soccer friendlies, concerts, outdoor NHL hockey game, high school playoffs, etc.  Pitt would become the one collecting the rent.  Having multiple revenues streams is critical to providing positive cash flows and generating a positive return on investment.

  1. Home for other programs

By definition, a MPC provides functionality and can accommodate more than one program.  A MPC could be used 365 days a year and 24/7.  Given its design and compatibility, the facility could provide homes for basketball, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics, lacrosse, tennis and ice hockey if the school ever wanted to start a program.  More on the design aspects later.

  1. Super League consideration

TV contracts expire in 2026.  This could force another round of conference realignment.  College football could become a semi-pro league consisting of 30-40 schools and could operate outside the NCAA.  The projections from TV revenues alone could provide schools with $100 million in revenues, over three times what Pitt receives from the ACC.  Today, Pitt is on the outside looking in. 

Pitt doesn’t have the national brand, the fan base, the recent history of winning.  However, a state of the art facility could be Pitt’s ticket to admission.  A right sized stadium that looks good on TV is all that matters.  A stadium that provides a festive atmosphere.  Pitt could make itself too irresistible to pass up.

  1. A bridge between the school and its fans, alumni and boosters

Making a connection is by far the most important reason.  The need for Pitt to connect with fans and boosters.  A connection is critical since it can help create a loyal base of supporters.  Loyalty drives attendance, donations and increases brand equity.  Loyal supporters are more likely to promote your brand, spend money on your brand and gift back. 

The name of the game is image, branding and identity.  Those things are enhanced when you establish a connection with your customers.  You engage them.  You excite them.  You help them create positive experiences and memories.  But don’t take my word for it.  There are some others who share similar thoughts – I’ll add those links as a post-script to the article.

More after page break…

153 thoughts on “A New Pitt MPC? Connecting Pitt Athletics Back to Campus

    1. There are always groups and individuals that benefit from construction projects. Both in tangible and intangible ways.

      Some of course benefit financially.

      Pitt could benefit financially.

      Oakland businesses and those involved in the venue’s construction such as the architects, engineers, and contractors could also see monetary benefits.

      The impetus to perform a study analyzing the economics for the power brokers will come from those same power brokers.

      Those wealthy and connected individuals and big business. Money will drive the study.

      If the economic gains are more than the cost of the study, I would think it would be pursued, but there’s most likely other dynamics at work providing the resistance and reluctance. The dreaded P-word.

      Like

    1. It would be ironic. Poetic justice.

      But the Pete will be old by today’s architectural standards come 2031. Requiring either significant upgrades and renovations or a complete rebuild.

      So the timing works well.

      And the basketball program wouldn’t be abandoned or kicked off campus like football back in 2000.

      Basketball would also be getting a new home.

      Like

  1. I’d like to thank Lee Calhoun, Joe Lawrence, Mark Kerestan and Edmund Finamore for helping edit this article.

    My gratitude to Reed for publishing the piece on his site.

    And for all those individuals who have previously written articles or created sites on this matter.

    Your excitement and passion for connecting back to campus was an inspiration.

    My desire has always been to conduct a feasibility study. If found feasible, I look forward to the next steps taken which would include building a business case for presentation to the Board of Trustees and the City.

    However, My point of view differs slightly from previous discussions on the topic.

    I’d like to know Pitt’s plan for when the lease expires with the Stadium Authorty. Moreover, my proposal is for a multi purpose center that can be used and called home for several sports programs.

    Have fun reading it and engaging in the inevitable discussion and spirited debate.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Tex, thanks for the acknowledgment for the assistance. You have a talent (and energy) for writing and I hope you keep it up.

      All – While I would get pretty excited to see a new report or an article announcing that Pitt was planning to build such a facility, I doubt very much that his will happen within the next 10 years. But wouldn’t that be fun and create some positive energy about Pitt’s football future?…

      That said, Victory Heights – for better or worse – is the direction the school is taking at this time and its probably more productive for fans to start to rally behind it and make it the best it can be. I imagine that if football is ever played again in Oakland, it may be after my years as a season ticketholder… and I’m 61.

      In the meantime Im just going to enjoy what I can of what we do have now. At some point before the demise of Heinz, I imagine that Red Lot 5A may cease as a location for tailgates. We will need some planning to address that as the party must carry on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be perfectly satisfied if a feasibility study is conducted.

        I’d love to see how long pitt sits on the report until they reluctantly release the findings to the public.

        Feasibility is a low bar to clear. Any study will most likely conclude that the project is feasible based on certain assumptions.

        At that point, pitt would be obligated to pursue the next steps which includes creating a full blown business case and a presentation to the BoT and Pittsburgh City Council.

        For the life of me I cannot see either Lyke or Gallagher making the case. But maybe Tom Richards.

        Like

      2. Many of the open lots surrounding Heinz will be gone in ten years.

        Look at all the current and proposed future development on the north shore from residential units to business space to retail.

        There soon won’t be anyplace to tailgate nearby the stadium. That’s inevitable.

        Most stadiums in Europe are placed right in the middle of a neighborhood. They aren’t built outside city limits on acres of farmland. They are built where there is existing development. Built where people currently live and work and play.

        I like the development around Heinz. It’s very business oriented and progressive thinking. The Steelers and the City are purposefully creating density in the area.

        So a MPC in a dense educational and hospital district could work just as well. It becomes part of the Oakland neighborhood.

        Like

  2. I don’t think Heather Lyke or Gallagher even plan to be at Pitt until the Steelers’ lease expires. Nor will they invest any time or energy in an effort that requires them to sell the idea – interact with people, prioritize the project, put any flesh into it. The fact they won’t even discuss it makes me think UPMC has told them no. At the current time, neither football or basketball is generating much fan interest. No talk of a preseason ranking for Natuzzi’s team and a general malaise that somehow a very doable 8-4 season will turn into another 7-5 record with blowout losses along the way. When Pitt built Pitt Stadium in the early 1920s the program was rocking. When Pederson tore down Pitt Stadium, Ben Howland was priming for his first hoops season and there was optimism around the program. And what will Pitt’s faculty think about the MPC? In the SEC they wouldn’t dare oppose it. Pitt eggheads have been bashing Pitt football since Chancellor Bowman ran off Jock Sutherland and de-emphasized Pitt football. Bowman was snubbed by the Big Ten and the Ivy League. His legacy, like other Pitt chancellors, rests a few academic achievements and many moribund football seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A concept like this could help unite and excite Pitt fans, alumni, students and boosters.

      Is Pitt leadership afraid of the answer? Will leadership even have the courage to simply ask the question?

      That’s all I’m personally asking the leadership team to do.

      And then to gauge public interest in building a multi purpose center and exploring all the costs and concerns, but also the tangible and intangible benefits.

      Would the facility be a good investment for Pitt’s future generations and a positive for the Oakland neighborhood?

      A study would seek to find the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sign me up Tex. I’ve never agreed more with anything you’ve posted. Amazing amount of work in this article. As with anything this extensive and “groundbreaking,” there will be a lot of “what abouts” and “what if’s,” but, lacking any better ideas, let’s get started!! Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well done Tex!

    Retractable Solar Panel roof would help (see how amazing the Tesla panels look).

    This is a project I could get behind and support to the extent that I can. A few grand for a well placed brick is easy money.

    Thanks for your efforts putting this together!

    H2P!

    Greg

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done Tex, thank you. My only disagreement, no need to add the cost of a retractable roof. I also may bump the seats down to 40k. Attendance will continue to drop in the future.

    Do the study, release the results.

    Like

  6. Wow great article, per Wikipedia regarding old Pitt stadium:

    In the late 1980s, then athletic director Ed Bozik unveiled a massive overhaul plan for Pitt Stadium that entailed gutting the stadium and rebuilding it from the ground up. In addition to luxury boxes, the $55 million renovation would have added a dome to the stadium.

    In 1980 Pitt was on top of the college football map and didn’t have the vision, right now we are an also ran in college football and they aren’t going to open the purse up.

    Enjoy the north shore because they aren’t going to build anything in the Oakland area unless it’s a hospital or research center.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pitt should have lowered the field to where the track would be eliminated, added seats in that area while chopping off a portion of the top area all around, build a bigger press box and improve concessions and restrooms up in that top area.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Please note that you can send Tex emails through my address on the blog’s home page.

    Tex and I had fun with this article…well, I had to have therapy after starting my proof/review.

    Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well written article TX Panther! You seemed have solved the where problem which was one of the biggest drawbacks with a lot of the previous proposals. I believe a feasibility study is warranted based on this proposal. A MPC seating 40,000 to 45,000 people could also gain some support from the general Pittsburgh community as well. It will be met by fierce opposition by the Oakland neighborhood associations.

    For this to gain any traction this article needs to be expanded upon. It also needs to published other places. The Pitt News comes to mind for the first attempt at the Pitt establishment. I am sure you also have your own ideas as well of where it should now appear.

    As for Heinz Field, I believe that site is just too central to everything in Pittsburgh for the Steelers to abandon it. All the highways flow right to the stadium complexes on the North Side as does the mass transit system. It is an ideal location for National television coverage as well. While the Steelers new home is being built on the present site of Heinz Field, where will the Steelers play football? I would propose they play in the spanking, brand new MPC Pitt just constructed. Marry the two projects together. This gives the Pittsburgh area the flexibility of two stadiums of various sizes. PNC park was not built with anything but baseball in mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great stuff Tex and Reed.

    Here’s the original article from cardiachill.com that you wrote Tex and I’m glad the Bleacher Report article I wrote back in 2012 made you a believer:

    https://www.cardiachill.com/2013/1/29/3928460/future-on-campus-stadium

    Here’s more about that in an article that appeared in PIttnews.com back in 2013. :

    https://pittnews.com/article/10326/archives/welcome-back-local-pair-envisions-new-panther-football-stadium/

    I believe it’s going to take the Steelers wanting a new stadium (with the threat of it being in Cranberry) to be the impetus to force Pitt’s administrators and Board of Trustees to take the matter of constructing an on-campus stadium seriously under consideration.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for linking those articles.

      Although some of the details have changed over the years, I still believe that a sports venue can help connect fans and alumni back to campus

      It’s a shame that even visiting fans don’t have a chance to walk campus and explore Oakland on gamedays.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome Tex and I agree. Visiting team’s fans do not get to see Pitt’s campus nor do Pitt’s alumni and their families (potential future Pitt students) all those weekends in the fall year after year.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A MPC becomes a great lure to attract people into Oakland. Provides the university a tremendous opportunity to showcase campus. I believe a MPC will help increase Pitt’s overall brand equity. That’s an intangible benefit but very powerful.

          Like

      2. Right. Could you imagine a trip to Notre Dame for a football game and not being able to see the famed Golden Dome or Touchdown Jesus b/c the stadium was moved 5 miles off campus??

        Like

        1. Alumni often don’t make it back to walk campus on gamedays. Fans of the visiting team rarely drive into Oakland to walk and explore. Pitt misses out on a great opportunity to market itself and show off some great architecture. Oakland has high energy and a cool vibe.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I completely agree. Your entire article was great, and would love to see the University start a feasibility study.

            Like

            1. Thank you. I thought my article was good. Well good enough to get the debate and discussion started again. I’m not a professional writer and it wasn’t even the final version before publication. I tried to further elaborate and tie up some loose ends in my commentary. Appreciate your enjoyment reading it. That’s why I write.

              Like

  10. Argh…Every doggone year some idiot campaigns for an on campus stadiums. First it was that Michaelangelo guy, and then the Facebook group, and now this self proclaimed TEXAN.

    Keep dreaming you young whippersnappers. The Rooney’s will never let it happen.

    Like

  11. Wait there was a comma in the second ….. and no discernible acid level either!

    I do like the idea of it being available for the Stillers while they need a temporary home.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Awesome article Tex! One thing you failed to mention was new technology which hasn’t even been thought of or invented will enhance the new stadium. I don’t think beaming will be feasible by 2031 but I’ll bet we have some sort of sky walkways and flying cars! Think Jetsons and don’t laugh. Look how technology has advanced in just the last ten years. Let alone since 1999.

    Most of my roommates at Pitt we’re engineers. Imagine the live projects Pitt Engineers could work on with Tex’s plan.

    Thanks for giving this old Pitt Alum a smile tonight Tex …..and a glimmer of hope!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The city is planning gondalas to move people quickly and alleviate ground traffic congestion.

      Today in development there are high speed sky trams using a network of cables that can move people.

      What if the new MPC connected with remote lots on the north shore, hot metal bridge and the zoo?

      Could safely and quickly transport thousands in and out of Oakland.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So it is a good idea to have a stadium which will be a third filled for basketball, one fourth filled for hockey a tenth filled for volleyball, etc. although I am not opposed to an on campus stadium not sure a multi purpose one is a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A new venue at least in the early years will be a must see attraction. So I would think attendance at football and basketball games would be near capacity. A ticket to most games would be in high demand.

      But winning and playing a entertaining style is what draws fans.

      Revenues will obviously be impacted by attendance.

      I agree there is some risk if the revenue projections aren’t achieved.

      Therefore, Utilization of the facility is critical to the economics. That’s why I believe a multi purpose venue provides the most positive benefit to cash flows which help payoff the construction costs.

      This concept has risk and is not perfect. But isn’t it exciting? When was the last time a Pat Narduzzi coach team excited you?

      Like

    2. And to make myself more clear, configurable or moveable/conforming seating can help make any venue become the right ft based on ticket demand.

      Having the stands look and feel right goes a long way to improving the atmosphere

      Like

  14. Let Elon Musk build his autonomous Tesla transport tunnel to Oakland from downtown.

    Like

  15. I think it has to be sold as a carbon neutral multi cultural greenhouse slash sports facility to get any funding or Pitt admin support.

    Like

    1. I personally love the idea of building it GREEN and having it be ‘pandemic certified’

      I like your idea of carbon neutrality.

      And i’m hopeful that some state or federal infrastructure dollars could be used that benefits all of Oakland. But these monies wouldn’t be dependent in order to green light the project.

      I think the design, architectural and engineering aspects are the most challenging and fun. The facility could become a modern marvel. That’s why I believe the project needs to be ambitious in scope.

      Like

  16. Colorado State, Florida Atlantic and Houston all have new stadiums. They care more about their football programs than Pitt. Sad.

    I’d take FAU’s 35k stadium over Heinz for college football.

    Like

    1. A feasibility study would even show the public some seriousness and commitment to athletics at Pitt.

      But I assume leadership thinks the Victory Heights project shows commitment to athletic excellence.

      If that’s the case, why is there so little interest among fans and boosters?

      Why has fundraising for this project been embarrassingly low?

      Like

    2. Other recent examples include Tulane and Minnesota. Both city schools.

      And Temple received approval to conduct a study.

      Again a perfect example of Pitt being late to the party.

      Like

    3. Because those schools aren’t ‘pretending’ that college football doesn’t bring in millions of dollars for their respective schools which they can then use for scholarships or to keep tuition reasonable.

      Like

  17. Another thing I just thought of. Both men’s and women’s soccer teams and the lacrosse team all share the same one field for practice and games. Most ACC schools, except Pitt and BC, have separate fields for practice and games. That’s a very practical matter that is addressed with a MPC.

    Like

  18. Great article IndianaTex!!!….if only someone in administration had half of your vision…Would love to seea game on campus in the New PITT Stadium even if JeanieB has to roll my ass in a wheelchair.

    BigB, who has always been a fan of this Texas transplant.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Politics works in many ways. For example, I actually think that there is NO possibility that the Steelers move from the North Side. The new North side businesses and offices who invested in development near Heinz were told that the Steelers home nearby would enhance their business. Promises were made, and the Steelers benefited from those promises. The City would pressure the Steelers to stay and honor past commitments. A tear down and rebuild of Heinz is more likely with the cheap steel structure remaining intact.

    As for Pitt, the options are probably reduced to two: Stay at Heinz or tear down the Pete where they already own the land and build an MPC. It is doubtful that Pitt would swallow an $800 million price tag, so this alternative would be something along the lines of the Carrier Dome with a 300 or 400 million cost. Fixed roof with indoor football and less atmosphere for basketball (the size of the Pete was found to work best to ensure sellouts at 12-15,000 seats).

    So unless Pitt could handle an $800 million cost, which is doubtful, the net gain for basketball is not really that much, and a fixed roof football stadium is not that desirable. Looking at these limited options, I’m guessing that Pitt will fix up the Pete for basketball and stay at Heinz (with some improved benefits) for football. This is the conservative low risk solution that fits Pitt the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Woke up this morning in San Antonio and read Tex’s article. This must be a sign!

    A most excellent article, Tex. We all know you’ve put a tremendous amount of thought and research into the MPC concept. You really put it all together extremely well in this article. (And love that photo of Pitt Stadium with the iconic arches — I’m guessing Reed added that…).

    I like the idea of having a Pitt News Sports writer or editor interview you. Another possibility is getting on the air with Paul Zeise (who would be completely skeptical) or other Pittsburgh sport’s talk radio shows.

    Getting some of the Pitt Greats to come out and embrace the idea would be truly awesome.

    Great job, Tex.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  21. Good job, Tex. Nice to see a fellow Texan with a can-do spirit rather than the Yinzer no we can’t that afflicts the rust belt. I fell out with Pitt athletics when Pitt Stadium was torn down. Will never forgive. I’ve been to Heinz but it is not a Pitt experience. Planning trip to Georgia Tech this football season but not Heinz.

    Covid is not gone. Vaccine resistant citizens among whom Covid is spreading are threatening full houses at college stadiums this fall. Here is a link to an article, a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods:
    https://www.sportstravelmagazine.com/sports-covid-19-nba-nhl-nfl-ncaa-nascar-soccer-football-baseball-2021-olympics-tokyo-league-season-tournament/

    Like

    1. Thank you. I like to think BIG like many Texans.

      And I really believe this new facility could be one of the first to be certified virus safe.

      Could be trailblazing design and functionality that allows an event to be watched safely in the physical proximity of others.

      Air circulation and filtration I think are critical.

      Like

  22. I just read the Pitt POV thing. A multi-purpose arena for Pitt is an absolutely terrible idea, the details indicate a stunning lack of knowledge about how stadiums actually work (an arena that can host both ice hockey and football is essentially impossible, for example) and an equal lack of knowledge about how Pitt’s endowment is structured, the current parking landscape in Oakland, the fact that the French stadium is significantly larger than Pitt stadium’s footprint, the fundraising question is answered with just waving your hand and saying, “oh, Pitt will easily be able to raise $100M” and will easily be able to sell $25M worth of advance sales for corporate suites, and cites an $800M figure out of nowhere, referencing Tottenham’s new stadium that cost $200M more and the French stadium that was built a decade ago in the middle of a park and not the middle of a dense urban area. It’s ludicrous.

    Like

    1. Only a MPC makes sense in an urban college environment. Whoever wrote that criticism seems to lack basic knowledge of Pitt’s history. Pitt Stadium WAS a MPC. Basketball court (in the dungeon but even so..) exceptional track and field facilities and soccer field. Even in 1920 the only way Pitt could construct a stadium and move out of Forbes Field was to promise a MPC to fund-raise.

      It’s important that back in 1920 Pitt was proud of its front porch, proud to be a national power, void of interference by self-aggrandizing egg heads who now pollute the campus. Different era, different decisions.

      Like

  23. I understood a long time ago that there would be naysayers and critics. Baking in 100 degree days down here in Texas develops a tough skin. I never take things personally and appreciate the constructive criticism but this poster is wrong on every front. I’ll explain after eating my lunch.

    Like

  24. Thanks to Tex and all the helpers. One end zone should have windows to show the cathedral.

    I still do not understand how the two major sections of the city are connected by busses (Oakland and downtown). The city needs to study itself to move into becoming a modern metro area. The highway system is beyond outdated and the area will choke itself without mass transit.

    Maybe CMU would like to participate in a MPC. I would never ever go to a home Pitt or Steeler FB game at PSU or WVU.

    Like

    1. And I had several helpers from all those who edited, to the ‘admiral’ who provided the forum and made it readable, to all those whose passions inspired me. This was a collective effort. Proud of Panther Nation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Frank:
      I was thinking the same thing. If they could link the facilities of both Schools. The have more room to park etc. CMU has a field and track.
      It probably would give more options for a location too.

      Like

  25. Just one suggestion regarding features. Why not add a track to accommodate the Olympic sports?

    While the presence of a track was the downfall of the Old Pitt Stadium, certainly technology exists today that would allow the stands to MOVE inward closer to the field for football games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree.

      A track could be incorporated with today’s technology via raising or lowering the field and with configurable or moving/adjustable seating.

      I’m no architect or engineer but I’ve spoken with several and read industry articles on construction.

      I also have a background in construction and know concrete as well as UPitt.

      So I’m not ignorant like most posters on pantherlair. POVerts are different.

      Waiting for some special posters like Ike and Fran to chime in. 🤠

      Like

  26. Ok. I’m done eating my Tex Mex burrito 🌯 with chips and spicy 🌶 salsa on the side along with a Shiner Bock 🍺 and I’m ready to respond.

    First let me say that I appreciate the constructive criticism and debate. My concept is not without its flaws. It is imperfect. Consensus and compromise will make a more perfect concept.

    But I’d like to respond to some misguided commentary on the concept.

    I’ve had eight years to think and research this concept. I’ve spoken to several engineers and architects. I’m well versed on construction publications and literature. I have a construction background.

    Hockey can work in a MPC. Stade Pierre Mauroy proves it.

    Pitt can tap the $2.6 billion of the endowment at 4.25 percent per annum for whatever use, no strings attached.

    I’m suggesting that only the first $100 million used to finance the project come from the endowment. And that’s over a five year period. I think that is a very reasonable and prudent ask.

    For parking and transportation, you need to go back and read again my thoughts and click on the links to other articles on the subject matter. Parking and traffic congestion issues have several practical solutions. Some are high tech while others are low tech and plain common sense.

    $25 million for suites and luxury boxes is actually conservative given market conditions. A suite costs $250k per year. A contract is usually at least a three year commitment. This financing is the least of my worries actually.

    My concept is 40-45k max capacity for footballl. Roughly 20k max capacity for basketball. All subject to final design specifications. The other stadiums you mention are all larger with more ammonites particularly Tottenham’s stadium which is the best venue in the world right now.

    I hope this helps educate you and answers your concerns. Again, your comments are much appreciated.

    Like

  27. Thanks TheSpecialSauce

    You sound like a certain person I know…VOR

    Pitt better have a plan in place because the Steelers will want a new modern stadium once the current lease expires. They should follow the University of Minnesota model and build it before 2030. They could bring money in from the Steelers for using it while their new stadium is being built.

    Like

    1. They built a cheap dump.
      Pitt better be prepared to walk if they don’t get any input on new Steeler stadium.

      Like

    1. He just opened the door to a football super league. Pitt needs this MPC for membership. How can you take any school seriously if they play off campus and are a renter.

      Like

  28. Johnny Raincloud here.
    Has anyone considered the notion that the stuffed-shirts and academic uppity-ups have reconciled that Pitt will be gloriously OUT of the cherished Magnificent 30-member Super Conference and therefore no stadium revision is needed?
    If history is indicative of the future, the administration’s apathy makes me think that is the most likely path for Us.
    SOP.

    And, great article.
    I appreciate the insight and the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very correct. But there’s a new sheriff in town. His name is Tom Richards, a highly successful businessman and member of Pitt’s Elite 8 basketball team from the early 70’s. Moreover, his son and daughter understand sports. Remember, the facility is built for future generations. Tom’s kids understand.

      Like

  29. To the MPC naysayers: how do Tulane, University of Houston, Central Florida and San Diego State, all universities in urban environments and all Group of 5 schools, manage to build on campus stadiums and Pitt dithers? Pitt was to make Heinz a memorable home field by winning….hmmm, Pederson, Barnes, and Lyke just haven’t done it. Heinz is a half-empty yellow seat banana that says PITT CHEAP not Pitt Panthers. SDSU with a new stadium? The former pro stadium a pile of rubble?

    https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/31818346/san-diego-state-aztec-stadium-topped-less-14-months-1st-game

    Like

    1. SDSU somehow bought the land off campus near the old Chargers stadium to build a new one due for 2022 I believe. That was the most expensive real estate in all of So Cal and will be developed for more than just the stadium.

      When SDSU is finding a way, then shame on Pitt.

      Like

  30. Credits Tex a great piece with great points taken. This may have even moved the needle if we were talking about another University any University aside from PITT. One problem I have is that for trying to convince a particular school into an idea they are not the least bit interested in….. well you make it virtually impossible of an idea with all your fancy pants plans and gimmickry.

    I still like the plans to erect a stadium on top of the Cathedral of Learning (btw, completed with a picture) combining the stadium with such an iconic PITT building already famous and completely constructed.

    A question about Schenley Park. Are we totally sure PITT can’t approach the caretakers of their estate and wrangle some land while still honoring whatever it is that the Schenley family is honoring?

    Like

    1. Thanks for the thoughts Ike.

      Schenley is untouchable. It’s a fight that would be tied up in the courts for years and would generate bad PR for Pitt.

      If I didn’t completely miss your thought, I think you are saying why would the current leadership team be receptive to even a feasibility study. Your are 100 percent correct. They won’t be.

      It will take inside and outside pressure for that to happen. Inside from Tom Richards and outside from some former Pitt greats, players and coaches.

      All I am is a planter of seed.

      Like

    2. Speaking about top of buildings. I believe Pitt proposed a lacrosse field on top of a flat roofed building. I think it’s a good idea for a practice field. Wouldn’t be large enough for fan seating however. But I like thinking outside the proverbial box.

      Like

  31. “We’ve kept our head down, we’ve been transparent, we provided a plan, a blueprint for what we wanted to do, and then we convinced people to join us to make sure that plan happened,” Wicker said. “We’ve just kept our head down and worked hard, and we’ve slowly but surely continued to bring people on board.

    “I’m just proud of the fact that we said we wanted to do something for the community of San Diego and we’re standing in the middle of it right now.”

    Like

  32. Tex — I submitted a comment this morning, but for some reason I don’t see it. I’ll try to recall what I wrote…

    I woke up this morning in San Antonio and read Tex’s article. Is that a sign of something??

    A most excellent article, Tex. We all know that you have spent a lot of time and effort researching the MPC concept for Pitt, and this article really brings it all together rather nicely. Love the photo of Pitt Stadium with the iconic arches – I’m thinking maybe Reed added that touch.

    What about the idea of a Pitt News writer interviewing you for an article on this topic. Or what about an interview on a Pittsburgh sports-talk radio program. I imagine Paul Zeise, for example, would be highly skeptical, but it would be interesting… How about a PowerPoint presentation to the Athletic Department? Seems like it would be time well spent by them.

    Getting some of the Pitt Greats to embrace the idea would be awesome. (Maybe you could also work on getting Scooter’s endorsement. Now we’re talkin’. 😊)

    Excellent work by Tex.

    Made me think that the construction of the Cathedral of Learning was also a gigantic pie-in-the-sky, seemingly impossible idea way back when. But we’re all glad that the idea caught on…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. Personally, I shy away from the limelight. I’m an idea guy. I depend on others to execute. But I’d welcome a private conversation with Tepper. 🤠

      Like

  33. This article was extremely well-done, one of the best I’ve seen here or on PittBlather. And that’s coming from someone who is an extreme pessimist about the prospects of an on-campus stadium — or a stadium anywhere in the city that has a major impact on the East End simply because I don’t think the city’s power brokers would allow it. That’s before you even consider Pitt’s institutional resistance the idea. Tex made me think, though, and perhaps even dream a bit. What more can you ask of a writer?

    Like

    1. The question then becomes what will the university do?

      I really don’t think they will pursue a study.

      Feasibility studies set a low bar. In all likelihood, a study would conclude that such a project is feasible under certain assumptions and conditions.

      Based on these findings, the university would be obligated to take action.

      One of the actions is building a robust and full blown business base and upon completion, presenting the case in front of the BoT and City Council.

      I don’t see AD Lyke or Chancellor Gallagher as the appropriate and willing messengers.

      Now, Tom Richards might be persuaded and do an effective job pitching the idea. But I also think outside help is needed. Individuals or corporate entities with money. Money buys influence and can make leadership receptive.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Tex, sorry for a delayed response…busy as heck for a retired dude. Haha.
    I think your article is outstanding…well researched and persuasive.
    I agree with Ulterior Motifs that it made me think and dream of the possibilities.
    I’ll be lined up next to BigB in the wheelchair section cheering like heck for dear old Western University of Pennsylvania.
    Looking forward to Pitt’s response to the article…😎

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for reading and enjoying. The article wasn’t meant to be a pure professional piece. I wanted some robust debate and didn’t want the topic to be forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Times are a changin’. Used to be the mere mention of an OCS would be met with ridicule. Seems to be a GROWING undercurrent of support.

    Tex, you and Complit are to be credited for daring to challenge the Naysayers who are always too ready to “buy in” to whatever they are being handed by an historically UNDERACHIEVING Pitt Administration.

    Like

    1. I hope you buy a brick for that new MPC then. 🤠

      It would be great if it happened but I know Pitt. It won’t under this leadership regime.

      I like dreaming BIG

      Like

  36. Guys – a few things. No Pittsburgh parkland will ever be used for individual entity use outside of temporary usage by the city or approved institutions – again temporary (think concerts, plays, Grand Prix, etc.) I got that from the old friend and long term director of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Meg Cheever who both founded the PPC organization and just stepped down as head of the conservancy two years ago.

    But more importantly Schenley Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and that completely protects it from any outside influences whatsoever. It is almost literally impossible to have something removed from that Register once it is listed. If its National Register it is lock in.

    I know – I was one of the officers looking at trying to get small portions of Governors Island, NY (the Coast Guard base) taken off the national register so that we could rebuild some buildings without meeting the exact historic parameters. Hit a brick wall in every attempt.

    Forget it.

    Ike – the Schenley family has no say in the park any longer – that passed over years ago when the land was formally deeded to Pittsburgh. That was a long time ago.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well deserved for Coach Jay and Jimbo.

      And Champ might just get drafted. If so that’s great for him but also sad since I figure if he came back he could have been all American and ACC POY.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. It mentions in the Steigerwald article that Pelusi and Covert were advocates of building an on campus facility for football. I’m hoping they read this piece then.

    Like

  38. Folks – I just had to delete 5 or 6 comments on the last article that had political crap in them.

    We know the rules on here, please stay within the guidelines

    Like

  39. Tex, I frequently disagree with some of the stuff you write, however this article is exceptional, a real thought provoker, conversation starter. Now it is time for the Pitt administration, BOT alums and supporters to be kicking this around until the realization dawns that “Hey this is a serious matter with real potential for Pitt, this could be a real boost for the future of Pitt sports” and a serious study is undertaken. People like Tex and the rest of us would make an important contribution by proposing ideas and discussing them in this and other public forums and helping generate the buzz Speaking of the buzz the second large glass of wine I had with dinner is kicking in and impacting my prose so I’ll hold these other ideas that are kicking around in my head till later. H2P . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I’m glad we found a common cause to unite around.

      Could this idea be incorporated into Victory Heights – Part Two or Three?

      How would the findings from a study impact today’s Victory Heights?

      But with any great idea, it takes doers to execute and place plans into action.

      A project such as this contains plans within plans within plans.

      I’ve helped place an idea in place. But others will need to find the people and tools to execute that vision and bring about the future.

      Like

  40. Tex, I thought the same…why can’t this be part of Victory Heights?
    At least a feasibility study.

    Times are indeed changing and rather rapidly. The slow to respond will be left behind. Status quo isn’t a plan..waiting for the Stillers isn’t a plan either.

    Like

    1. Could be part of phase three

      The Pete will be 30 years old by then. Pitt will need a plan for that facility.

      And by then, the city might have a network of high speed gondolas into Oakland. 🤠

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Haha…we have that in Freeport on the Allegheny.
    Thinking about a 70 hp outboard on my canoe.
    😎

    Like

  42. A comment from pantherlair which I thought was humorous

    ‘The good thing about this thread, it means camp is just around the corner. We have to have our obligatory OCS thread before football actually starts, so now that its out of the way, Let’s Go Pitt!!!’

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Points with practical solutions. Any large scale project has its challenges.

        Where I disagree the most with him is about Heinz. Heinz is just too big for Pitt. It lacks atmosphere and really doesn’t charm. There is no wow factor. The novelty has worn off.

        And Heinz never provides Pitt with a true home field advantage. Might as well give the visiting team three points. They are often more pumped up playing in a pro stadium.

        Recruits see a bunch of empty yellow seats and Narduzzi refuses to consider tarping.

        Like

      1. I doubt Pitt makes the Final Five cut.

        Has this kid even visited campus yet?

        What if the gates are locked to the Southside facilities?

        Like

  43. The coffee is kicking in now.

    You can connect fans tailgating in remote lots with large tv screens. Show sites of other locations. Show live feeds of the stadium area.

    Livestream from multiple tailgating locations.

    Then have that gondola system transport you to the game and back.

    I still think there will be some form of tailgating in the future. Just won’t be as popular as today.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. The best college games I have been to are the East Carolina home games. They built it in 1963 for 50K seats but built the parking lots in a way that had tailgating spaces designed into it.

    If course they had space for that.

    Say what you will about Heinz or any other off campus stadium, but anything put into Oakland will not have tailgating on any scale needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not on a major scale in Oakland. But remote lots can provide that. Thing is. Tailgating is becoming less popular. Gen Z has zero concept of it. I’m parent to two of them. And they would never drive to a stadium. They Uber or Lyft.

      Moreover, they totally love the gondola idea.

      Like

  45. Parking is definitely an issue. An unsolvable one. Pitt shuttles a very small percentage of fans to Heinz field now, the student section. Building in Oakland would require shuttling a vast majority of fans. Fans are too lazy these days to go through that.

    The parking for most fans would have to be close by. You have to have at least one major lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. One article I posted broke it down. 40,000 fans

    8,000 students

    So 32,000 fans

    Assume all travel by vehicle in and moreover park. Laughable but I’ll humor you.

    Assume 2.5 persons per vehicle.

    That’s 12,000 vehicles

    Today Oakland has parking for 10,000 vehicles, both open lots and garages

    Another Garage or two would meet gameday demand.

    Park n rides are very popular at other schools. Chance to tailgate albeit at a remote lot. Bus transportation in. I’m a fan of gondolas. Better view and faster.

    Keep in mind those attending for the next 40 years won’t be you or I. It is The millenials and Gen Z and the next one.

    There is a 50 year difference in attitudes between boomers and my kids

    This stadium isn’t being built for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Although boomer and Gen X money will help finance the project, I seriously wouldn’t want either group to have much say in the matter. My ideas are just conceptual in nature. For real specifics, you need to ask your kids and mine.

    And frankly within ten years there won’t be any open lots around Heinz to tailgate anyway.

    Like

  48. On this subject I have never been able to get into Tex’ camp, however I have to commend him for an outstanding piece of journalism and thought provoking ideas to the obvious problems. However, the following are sadly the reasons that I doubt even a feasibility study is in Pitt’s future, and BTW this is not because folks from Pittsburgh are old, crotchety, do-nothings unlike the “visionaries” in Texas. If you haven’t noticed, Pittsburgh is about as much of a “rust belt” today as Texas is a small state.

    First of all, yes a feasibility study on it’s surface makes sense, but ONLY AFTER the BOD and especially UPMC have signed on as being backers for the concept.

    But sadly,

    1 – Pitt is run by UPMC and any land grab will first have to get the blessing of the leaders of this monolith health institution which will drop a wet blanket on any major construction.
    2 – The financing solutions are troublesome at best and impractical at worst. The endowment will never be permitted to be used (even if it’s only the income generated) to fund a purely sport endeavor. For years I used to ask clients to attend football games in our corporate suite and almost always got no takers, even from Pitt grads, so expecting corporations to pay in advance for suites is a pipe dream. Although it would be wonderful to dream that fundraising for an MPC would happen simply because of the excitement it would bring, but when 90% of Pitt grads show no interest in even buying a cheap ticket to a game or two, this funding method begins to show it’s warts. The state is a financial mess and nothing is coming from Harrisburg. And lastly, the Rooney’s and Mario have their eyes on the same extra revenue generators that are mentioned in the article, and Pitt will never win a battle for these events against these two Pittsburgh iconic families.
    3 – The parking and traffic situation should be feasibility study #1, because anyone living in Pittsburgh knows that this will be the most troublesome issue. Also, if a solution is available, it will definitely not provide for any extra space for the best part of going to a game, namely tailgating.

    However, what a wonderful dream. Almost as wonderful . . . . and unlikely as a national championship.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the commentary. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. I totally understand the sensitivities and resistance. But also understand that money talks.

      I dream big. I don’t believe this concept should be compromised. I don’t believe in participation trophies. It’s black and white to me. You win or you lose. Do or do not, there is no in between.

      Im fine with losing but not after I give my all. And I know there won’t be any ice cream for me. I play to win however.

      Just because the power brokers have a 1950’s mentality doesn’t mean I have to like it.

      Like

    2. Or an ACC Championship!

      Are you on the Pitt Board of Trustees? You comments directly echo many of their thoughts.

      I can find a thousand reasons why this will never happen. Thank you Tex and Co. for finding a few reasons that could make it happen! It’s more than anyone else has offered since the the tear down of my favorite stadium in 1999

      Like

  49. And why should sports be any different

    “In general, where you find good food, you find some obsessed person who is trying their damnedest to make their food the best they can.”

    Like

  50. Simply I think it boils down to money and influence.

    If Tepper walked into Gallagher’s office and dropped a $200 million dollar check on his desk, the project would be greenlighted. Other boosters would quickly follow his lead since this man doesn’t make bad investments.

    But it comes at a cost. Loss of control for Pitt. Money buys influence. These individuals will want a say in the facility design. The next head coach. And the next AD. They will have enormous influence shaping the sports culture at Pitt.

    Today’s leadership is not willing to strike that bargain.

    UT, directors cup champion, is perfectly fine with it.

    Like

  51. We need to be careful about thinking of on campus as only Oakland. The campus has already expanded to the near south side with the football practice facilities and offices there along with a strong sports medicine facility and program presence. There seems to be a lot of open space there, probably enough to comfortably accommodate an “on campus” multi purpose stadium and some other facilities. The question is who owns it and is a significant portion public parkland or otherwise under ownership that would make it unlikely to be available ever. This should at least be investigated.

    Pitt had an extremely rare situation where students could roll out of bed in the Towers or walk out of the Cathedral and walk up cardiac hill to the games. My wife and I try to go to a Michigan (her alma mater) game every year as well as a Pitt game. Michigan has everything concentrated on the Ann Arbor campus (liberal arts, engineering, sciences, etc plus grad and professional schools (medicine, law, social work nursing, business and others) as well as the hospital system and sports, student activities, administration and other things. They have had to spread out to a north campus and a south campus connected by buses etc. You don’t walk to the on campus stadium unless you really like walking and have the time. Even from the parking lots the walk is a lot further than going up cardiac hill (although much more level,) You do get to walk by a large number of athletic facilities, stadiums for softball, baseball, field hockey, and many others with ice hockey nearby in the old basketball facility and the basketball arena right by the big house.

    My point is that the concept of an on campus stadium needs to be broad enough to accommodate the reality that universities such as Michigan have already addressed. You can’t have everything in one spot. So the concept of on campus needs to be broad enough to accommodate that while still keeping everything and everyone reasonably together, eg sports on the near south side not the north side. H2P Soccer Gramps

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you’re saying.

      My grad school had a north and south campus.

      The south being the older campus comprised of the medical and law buildings.

      The north being three miles away and had the engineering and business schools. And the sports facilities.

      Shuttles transported students between the two. And it was walkable albeit a long one.

      No city or hill or river separating the two though.

      Like

    1. Most publications are predicting 7-8 wins. Fifth year QB and easy schedule.

      I’m just afraid next year that Pitt will struggle to win five games.

      So 8 plus 5 equals 13 divided by 2 and you get 6.5 wins. Pretty much what a Narduzzi coached team will get you. Or $769k per win.

      Like

      1. I get what you’re saying Tex. I need to see 9 or 10 win season in order to accept another 5 win season. But 8 wins is what I expect this year.

        Like

    1. And the combined smell of piss ,
      Hot chocolate and boiling hot dogs !

      And I loved it! For all 72 games I attended 63 -98

      It was my first date with both wives and my second honeymoon was at Nemacolin with a stop at BC/Pitt at Heinz.

      Like

  52. Need to have at least one bathroom with them.

    Part of the fundraising fun would be to purchase various decals that pitt could place on those white porcelain troughs so all can take aim and pee on them.

    Pitt should auction off a JoePa decal. I’ll start the bidding at $500.

    Like

  53. Take a look at Cincinnati’s stadium in the middle of their campus. There appears to be no major highway any closer than the parkway would be to Oakland and there are no large parking lots.

    I argued before that parking is an issue but it was for Pitt stadium and it worked for many decades.

    Traffic is a non-issue. Pick any city and add an event with 12k or more fans and you should expect to sit in traffic before and after the event. I’ve never been late to an event or left early from one to beat traffic. Have the right expectation and plan for it.

    Like

    1. Park n rides, smart cars, traffic monitoring and timing of lights, Uber and Lyft, pre sold garage or lot passes, gondolas, etc are all possible solutions to traffic congestion and having to park in Oakland. Plenty of practical solutions. Both high tech and low tech.

      And with all the development around Heinz, there won’t be any open lots left very soon.

      Like

  54. My sister has season tix for Cincinnati FC soccer which played a season or two at Cincinnati Bearcat FB stadium while their stadium was being built. She had no traffic complaints.

    Like

  55. I’d trade the retractable roof for a higher fixed roof if the venue could host baseball games…One thing is certain, if PITT builds it’s own stadium, it will have to have a roof of some type. Nothing else makes economic sense for the University or the city of Pittsburgh.

    Like

  56. From David Hale regarding Pitt receivers:

    “But the numbers were UGLY last year (2020 ACC rank): 11th in explosive play%, 12th in success%, 13 in yds/catchable target, 14th in drops.”

    From EE: just catch the ball…

    Tex – I was entertained and educated at the same time by your on campus MPC. Well done!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much.

      There are multiple locations. However, Every site has its unique challenges. I just think the Pete is the most viable given Pitt already owns the land.

      I think we can generally agree there is a need. A need for a more right sized stadium. A need for homes supporting multiple sports programs. A need to take control and ownership over the future. A need to connect back to campus. A need to run a self sustaining athletics department.

      One can debate the financing. Is pitt taking on too much debt. Does Pitt have the capacity. How does the debt load or leverage impact liquidity and cash flows.

      Should pitt use endowment monies to finance this capital project. I’m proposing $100 million over a five year period or $20 million per year. That’s half of one percent of Pitts growing total endowment of $4.6 billion. But there is an opportunity cost.

      Can pitt raise the needed funds through a massive fundraising campaign despite Pitts history of paltry athletic support.

      And of course parking constraints and problematic transportation, traffic issues, other infrastructure challenges.

      And finally just the sheer resistance to pursue a study and develop a full blown business case given certain sensitivities and different agendas and alliances within various power broker groups.

      I wanted the piece to be thought provoking with constructive criticism of the concept and rigorous debate. I planted the seed. The discussion is just one plan within plans.

      I’m hoping there is some BoT support and that Tom Richards at least is receptive to a study.

      But I do hope it was a good read and elevated your Pitt spirit

      Like

  57. Pitt would need to set up and engage with marketing companies for entertainment 365 days a year, concerts, etc. The goal is to make money and sell the brand.

    Like

    1. The biggest monies or most revenues will always come from football and basketball.

      Concerts are a very small slice of the revenue streams. But nonetheless a slice.

      Every little event that Pitt hosts in their venue helps make the concept for economically viable.

      Utilization is the key. You get that with a MPC and not football specific. OCS.

      Like

  58. Big Dan72, When I’m cheering on the Panthers I’m cheering just as much for you and PITT fans like you.

    Right now it’s almost eerie, like something is different or about to become different. Fasten down your leather helmet strap big boy, we are all in for a great ride.

    Here’s one I really like. When the “I expect PITT to win nine games” crowd goes on with their predictions they always leave an escape hatch to run to for cover. LIKE– PITT could win because of an easy schedule or the ACC Coastal is down again this year.

    PITT wins 9 or 10 games this season. Fran, Farmer and all the other Red 5-A tailgaters, sure hope to see you all at many games this year. and Thanks again everybody for the Prayers and Well Wishes.

    Rachel, hope you’re coming along and feeling much better.

    Liked by 6 people

  59. Beautifully written and so very well thought out.

    Is it possible to build the stadium closer to the south and have the tailgate parking lots and shuttle at the campus?

    Like

    1. A feasibility study would tell us that. Further south would be buses and shuttles, possibly train since those tracks run past Frick from the hot metal bridge, gondola system.

      The future trends however are away from tailgating. Moreover parking is more lucrative with garages than open lots. More expensive to construct but a much higher long term payoff for the developer. Can’t tailgate in garages…legally. 🤠

      And very importantly, your off campus if not on campus has to be within a long walking distance. Has to be seen from the site. It can’t have a highway, river or large hill separating the two. Otherwise you lose that connection

      But Pitt will be expanding its footprint and has been. Campus is growing and changing its boundaries. The north shore will never be part of campus however.

      The good thing listening to everyone is that it improves the concept and makes it more sellable. Some great ideas so far. I missed a few things in my article and wish I could of further elaborated on others.

      Like

    1. I might come back for multiple games then🤠

      One game is not nearly enough time to share with Ike all my MPC ideas and coaching list of replacements for Narduzzi.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.