Petersen Events Center will have a different look in the future, as the University of Pittsburgh is planning a reconfiguration of the court layout.
The project is being designed as a way to give more exposure to the arena’s student section during television broadcasts. Dubbed the Oakland Zoo, the student section is not prominently displayed in television broadcasts because the court is configured in a way that puts the benches in front of a premium seating area.
That will soon change, under a plan detailed this week by Pittsburgh athletic director Heather Lyke. Plans are taking shape to move the benches to the other side of the court, one part of a project that will lead to the Oakland Zoo receiving more exposure during television broadcasts. The court will maintain its current layout for the 2018-19 season, but Pitt anticipates that the change will be in place by the start of the 2019-20 season. More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“When you see our games on national television, I don’t think it showcases our team and students as well as it could,” Lyke said. “The Oakland Zoo is one of the best assets we have at Pitt.
“When they built the Pete, they essentially built it backwards.”
That change will take place after this upcoming season, going into effect for the 2019-20 campaign, which would be new coaches Jeff Capel and Lance White’s second at the helm.
Lyke added that the benches, which are currently in front of the floor suites, will be moved to the other side of the court to be in front of the Oakland Zoo. This means the camera angle will be from the opposite side of the arena, and Pitt’s staff will also “re-seat” the arena after next season and ahead of the new layout.
Plans for the new layout will also include redoing the court. Petersen Events Center originally opened in 2002.