Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania christened its new UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse with a 69-64 win over Dayton.
The opening is the culmination of a 22-month renovation project that began in March 2019.
Located on the site of the former A.J. Palumbo Center, UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse will serve as the home for both men’s and women’s basketball as well as volleyball.
The venue, named after Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and Duquesne alumnus Chuck Cooper, features six suites, 55 club level seats as well as four unique fan corners with excellent sightlines to the playing floor. Wider, more accessible concourses as well as enhanced concession areas are among the many fan amenities.
Two high-definition Daktronics video boards, four lower-level ribbon boards as well as a new scorer’s table and sound system will bring the building to life.
UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse also houses the Folino Sports Performance Center featuring nearly 10,000ft2 of training equipment, sports performance labs and a nutrition centre for all student-athletes, as well as the Joe and Kathy Guyaux Player Development Center which includes two regulation practice basketball courts.
Other areas of note include the spacious Gilliand Pavilion which offers unparalleled views of downtown Pittsburgh and serves as the home of the Merle Gilliand Duquesne Sports Hall of Fame presented by Sherwin-Williams.
Director of Athletics Dave Harper said:
I’d like to thank everyone for making this possible, our donors and community partners, the contractors and construction crews, and our Duquesne team. While the opening is somewhat muted due to the pandemic, it doesn’t dampen our excitement.
This is truly a transformation and will better position us for success competitively and academically. It will be the epicenter of development and growth for our student-athletes. It repositions our brand and our recruiting strategies as well. In addition, campus life, the Uptown area, and the greater Pittsburgh community will benefit from another first-class facility that will host a variety of events and add vibrancy to the area.
The responsibility for us is to take full advantage of this tremendous asset and ensure that we continue to execute our strategic initiatives and continue to build momentum. As I told our team, we are blessed to literally be “guests” in this building. Donors, community partners, season ticket holders, and many others made this possible. We have an obligation to give our best effort daily to be stewards of their generosity.
Access to the venue is provided by the A.J. Palumbo Atrium – which recognises the namesake of Duquesne’s previous on-campus home – located at the top of Magee Street, and the Clearway Community Energy Gate which provides building access from Forbes Avenue.
All men’s and women’s February/March home games, as well as the women’s volleyball spring schedule home matches will be played in UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.