The Petersen Events Center, a state-of-the-art arena, is symbolic of a bold new era in the history of the University of Pittsburgh. The center is located at the peak of the upper campus, with a dramatic view of Oakland and the Cathedral of Learning. Completed in the spring of 2002, the Petersen Events Center provides the Panthers basketball team with an advantage like no other.

Funded with a $10 million gift, the largest individual gift in University history, from alumnus John Petersen and his wife, Gertrude, the venue is one of the finest college basketball arenas in the country, providing the very best for players and fans alike.

Additionally, the Petersen Events Center dramatically enhances the quality of student life on campus, providing the University with a location for graduation ceremonies, modern recreation and fitness facilities, and other campus and community events.


January 21, 1998

Governor Tom Ridge announces at a news conference that $53 million in commonwealth funds have been committed to the convocation center at Pittsburgh.

April 25, 1998

Commonwealth hires Apostolou Associates of Mount Washington, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Rosser International of Atlanta to design the new arena, which was to be built on a site atop Terrace Street next to Pitt Stadium.

June 22, 1999

It is announced that John Petersen and his wife, Gertrude, have donated $10 million to the project. It is the largest individual gift ever at the University of Pittsburgh.

June 15, 2000

The official groundbreaking of the Petersen Events Center.

April 27, 2002

The Petersen Events Center opened for a preview so that graduating seniors could see the arena before leaving campus.

August 31, 2002

Pittsburgh announces that the entire 2002–03 men’s basketball season is a season ticket sellout.

October 13, 2002

Counting Crows perform the first concert in the Petersen Events Center.

November 22, 2002

First women’s basketball game vs. Robert Morris.

November 23, 2002

First men’s basketball game vs. Duquesne.