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Pitt-Duquesne City Game Returns to Mellon Arena

Duquesne Head Coach Ron Everhart and Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon pose in front of the City Game Trophy.

Duquesne Head Coach Ron Everhart and Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon pose in front of the City Game Trophy.

Sept. 1, 2009

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PITTSBURGH--The annual City Game rivalry between Pitt and Duquesne will be played at Mellon Arena on Wednesday, December 2, the two schools announced Tuesday at a joint press conference held at the 50-year-old facility. The matchup will mark the final basketball contest to be played at Mellon Arena, which will close its doors following the 2009-10 hockey season.

 

The game, which was moved from Duquesne's on-campus A.J. Palumbo Center, will be hosted by Duquesne. It will mark the first time since 2001 that the two intracity rivals will meet at the 17,000-seat Mellon Arena. The City Game rotated between Pitt's Petersen Events Center and the Palumbo Center from 2002-08.

 

For ticket information, please contact the Pitt ticket office at (412) 643-PITT or (412) 648-PITT. Pitt season ticketholders and Panther Club members will be given priority before tickets go on sale to the general public.

 


 

 

"This is great for the city of Pittsburgh," Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon said. "It's the right thing to do. There is a great history between Pitt and Duquesne in basketball and this is an outstanding way to commemorate and promote the series."

 

"Mellon Arena and SMG is thrilled to host the final collegiate basketball game to be played under this roof," said Jay Roberts, General Manager of Mellon Arena. "Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh have been a big part of the history at the arena and this game gives us the opportunity to honor some of the great moments and legendary players that have played here over the past 50 years."

 

Ironically, Pitt and Duquesne both participated in the first two basketball games played at Mellon Arena as part of the Children's Hospital/Pittsburgh Press charity doubleheader on Dec. 6, 1961. The doubleheader featured a Duquesne-Carnegie Tech matchup in the first game, a 78-40 DU win, while Pitt and then-No. 1 ranked Ohio State (99-79 loss) played in the second contest. The doubleheader drew 8,009 fans.

 

Pitt and Duquesne have met 34 times at Mellon Arena since 1966 with the Panthers claiming 17 of the last 19 meetings and holding a 20-14 all-time advantage. In the 77-game series, Pitt leads with a 46-31 all-time record. The largest crowd for a Pitt-Duquesne game at Mellon Arena was 15,824 on Feb. 15, 1981.

 

Pitt has played a total of 112 games at Mellon Arena with the Panthers compiling a 61-51 all-time record. Several of the more memorable games for Pitt fans include the 1993 contest against North Carolina, which drew a city record 17,716 fans, annual Big East Conference clashes against the likes of Syracuse, Georgetown, St. John's, Notre Dame and Villanova, the Eastern 8 Tournament which Pitt captured titles in both 1981 and 1982 and other top non-conference matchups against UCLA, Arizona, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Additionally, Pitt has hosted four teams that entered games at Mellon Arena as the nation's No. 1 ranked team. Pitt last appeared at Mellon Arena during the first and second rounds of the 2002 NCAA Tournament when Pitt defeated both Central Connecticut State and California before 17,015 fans on both games.

 

Mellon Arena, home of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, opened as the Civic Arena with an Ice Capades event on Sept. 18, 1961. It was officially renamed Mellon Arena, after the Pittsburgh-based bank, the day of the Dec. 20, 1999 Pitt-Duquesne game. Mellon Arena will be replaced by the new multi-purpose, 19,000-seat Consol Energy Center, which is scheduled to open in Fall, 2010.

 

Pitt will play three other neutral site non-conference games in 2008-09. Pitt is scheduled to face Indiana in the 15th annual Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Madison Square Garden (9 p.m.). Pitt is also scheduled to participate in the 2009 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo. from November 23-24. In the four-team event, Pitt will play Wichita State on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET, then face either Iowa or Texas on Nov. 24. Pitt's entire schedule will be released in mid-September.

 

PITT AT MELLON ARENA

Total Games Played: 112

Pitt's Mellon Arena Record: 61-51

Games vs. the nation's No. 1 ranked team at Mellon Arena: 4

Last Pitt appearance at Mellon Arena: March 17, 2002, vs. California in NCAA Tournament

 

Top-5 Largest Crowds for a Pitt game at Mellon Arena

*17,716, vs. North Carolina on Dec. 20, 1993

17,015, NCAA Tournament vs. California on March 17, 2002

17,015, NCAA Tournament vs. Central Connecticut State on March 15, 2002

16,877, vs. Syracuse on Feb. 5, 1994

16,798, vs. Syracuse on Feb. 10, 1988

*largest crowd to witness a basketball game in city history

 

Top-2 Largest Crowds for a Pitt-Duquesne Game at Mellon Arena

15,824, Eastern 8 Conference game on Feb. 15, 1981

15,728, Eastern 8 Conference game on Feb. 10, 1980

 

CITY GAME SERIES AT A GLANCE

Total Games: 77

Overall Record: 46-31

At Mellon Arena: 20-14

At Petersen Events Center: 4-0

At Fitzgerald Field House: 14-7

At Pitt Pavilion: 5-9

At Palumbo Center: 3-1.

Eastern 8 Games: 7-5

Eastern 8 Tournament: 1-0

Steel Bowl Games: 7-12

Games decided by one point: 10 (2-8)

Games decided by two points: 8 (5-3)

Games decided by two points or less: 18 (7-11)

Largest Pitt win: 30 points (87-57) on Dec. 4, 2004

Larges Pitt loss: 34 points (100-66) on Dec. 9, 1967

Longest Pitt win streak: 9

Longest Duquesne win streak: 4

 

PITT'S TOP ATTENDED GAMES AT MELLON/CIVIC ARENA

Opponent, Date

Arena

Attendance

*North Carolina, 12/20/93

Civic Arena

17,716

California, 3/17/02

Mellon Arena

17,015

Central Conn. State, 3/15/02

Mellon Arena

17,015

Syracuse, 2/5/94

Civic Arena

16,887

Syracuse, 2/10/88

Mellon Arena

16,798

Georgetown, 2/20/88

Civic Arena

16,721

Georgetown, 1/27/91

Civic Arena

16,683

Syracuse, 2/4/89

Civic Arena

16,669

Georgetown, 2/11/89

Civic Arena

16,669

Georgetown, 1/8/90

Civic Arena

16,588

Georgetown, 1/22/92

Civic Arena

16,489

Syracuse, 1/7/91

Civic Arena

16,485

Syracuse, 2/9/87

Civic Arena

16,290

Georgetown, 1/10/87

Civic Arena

16,290

Syracuse, 1/3/90

Civic Arena

16,188

Duquesne, 2/15/81

Civic Arena

15,824

Duquesne, 2/10/80

Civic Arena

15,728

St. John's, 2/26/90

Civic Arena

15,322

North Carolina, 12/20/95

Civic Arena

15,195

Georgetown, 2/28/93

Civic Arena

15,154

Georgetown, 2/20/97

Civic Arena

15,127

Syracuse, 1/8/92

Civic Arena

15,112

Villanova, 1/2/91

Civic Arena

15,033

Syracuse, 2/7/96

Civic Arena

15,016

Arizona, 1/27/90

Civic Arena

14,127

Oklahoma, 1/15/89

Civic Arena

13,878

UCLA, 12/30/70

Civic Arena

13,535

Duquesne, 1/6/92

Civic Arena

13,525

Duquesne, 12/19/92

Civic Arena

13,519

Notre Dame, 1/29/97

Civic Arena

13,240

Georgetown, 1/24/94

Civic Arena

13,179

*most attended basketball game in Pittsburgh city history

 

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