University of Pittsburgh
January 14, 2020

Pitt Unveils Plans for “Victory Heights” Initiative to Support Student-Athletes and Marching Band


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PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh today unveiled plans for its Victory Heights initiative, a series of state-of-the-art athletics projects that will provide Pitt student-athletes with national-caliber competition, training and sports performance and medicine facilities.

The initiative is part of the University's campus master plan, which was finished last year after two years of engagement and input from faculty, students and staff, along with community members. The plan is designed to advance Pitt's aspirations on many fronts, enrich the student experience and create a more connected, outward-looking and engaged university.

The roadmap to realizing this ambitious vision was announced by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke.

New facilities to be built in the coming years include:

  • A 3,500-seat arena for gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling. Each of those teams currently practice and compete in the 70-year-old Fitzgerald Field House.
  • An eight-lane, 300-meter indoor track for the men's and women's programs as well as a band facility. The Panthers' track and field teams have been without a suitable campus home since the razing of Pitt Stadium in 1999. Additionally, the more than 300-member Pitt Band will utilize this venue for rehearsal, storage and meeting needs.
  • A cutting-edge athletic performance center that will serve the strength and conditioning, sports medicine, nutrition and mental well-being needs for 16 of Pitt's 19 intercollegiate athletics programs.

"Victory Heights is about coming together as a community and doing our part to drive comprehensive excellence," Gallagher said. "And it's about taking the steps needed to give each of our student-athletes the very best environment to learn, grow and reach their highest potential."

"For far too long, a significant percentage of our student-athletes have been forced to compete in facilities that do not reflect the lofty standards and aspirations of the University of Pittsburgh," Lyke said. "Today's announcement is the first step in transforming that liability into a game-changing asset in our quest for comprehensive excellence.

"Victory Heights will provide our student-athletes and coaches with the necessary resources to train, recruit, compete and achieve at the highest levels," continued Lyke. "We could not complete this vision without the extraordinary support and leadership from Chancellor Gallagher, our Board of Trustees and many loyal Pitt donors. On behalf of our Department of Athletics, I want to express my deepest gratitude to them for their commitment to this plan and belief in our championship vision for each of Pitt's 19 intercollegiate athletic programs."