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Renown to Rubble: The Rise and Fall of Pitt Stadium 1925-1999 – Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics

Renown to Rubble: The Rise and Fall of Pitt Stadium 1925-1999

Authors
Chad Seifried – Louisiana State University
Jim Evans – The Ohio State University
Allison Mosso – Louisiana State University

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Abstract
This paper traces the evolution of Pitt Stadium from 1925 to 1999 and highlights critical figures and events in the financing and construction of the venue, details renovation efforts, and presents information, which led to its abandonment and subsequent demolition. Pitt Stadium, like other campus stadia, was built to open untapped reservoirs of alumni donations, increase revenues, and enhance “brand awareness” to improve student enrollments, the overall campus experience, and help the school “climb” the ladder of institutional reputation. Yet, image attacks regarding the perceived professionalization of college football, internal tension, the Great Depression, poor scheduling, and lack of spectator and player amenities contributed to the failure of the building to pay off its debt and subsequent dissatisfaction among various stakeholders. Although the University ultimately abandoned Pitt Stadium when it was no longer commercially viable, the school’s attempts to use on-campus athletics to secure important recognition as a major university are instructive for other institutions considering similar ideas.