Pittsburgh Athletic Director Heather Lyke has released a new plan for the school to upgrade its athletic facilities, including volleyball. That would make for a new home court for the Panthers, who currently play in 67-year old Fitzgerald Field House, which does not have air conditioning.
The plan would be a boost for gymnastics, track & field, volleyball, wrestling, baseball, soccer and softball, but specifically would impact volleyball in terms of arena. The idea would be to replace the current Fitzgerald Field House with a 3,000 seat arena for the volleyball team to use, along with gymnastics and wrestling.
That 3,000 seat arena would be smaller than the current Fitzgerald Field House, which holds over 4,000 attendees. However, the lack of certain amenities and difficulty to fully fill such a large space from a volleyball perspective are likely the biggest arguments for the new stadium.
Additionally, a Human Performance Center would be built for strength and conditioning, sports medicine and offices for the coaches of the many olympic sports, including volleyball. The whole facility and area would be called Victory Heights.
“We have a vision and a plan and we know what could fit in that space and that was the part of the study that was important,” Lyke said about the plan. “There’s no specific timeline. We have a lot of work to do toward that project.”
The news comes at a good time for the Panthers, who are riding the high of a 26-7 season in which they went 18-2 in the ACC and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. They also return all six of their top starters plus the libero in 2018, as they could add to the momentum and continue to be at the top of the ACC, which upgraded facilities would only help for the future.