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Nov. 10, 2009

PITTSBURGH--Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl has declared Friday in Pittsburgh "Turn it Blue Day" in anticipation of the Pitt football team's Saturday night showdown with Notre Dame at Heinz Field.

The Panthers, ranked as high as No. 8 in the country, will face the Fighting Irish in front of a soldout crowd and national ABC television audience. Pittsburghers are encouraged to wear their Pitt Blue on Friday to get ready for the game.

Fans should also wear their Pitt Blue to Heinz Field Saturday night as Pitt and Pittsburgh are showcased to the rest of the country.

"This weekend, let's `Turn it Blue' and show our support for our own hometown team as they take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame," Ravenstahl said. "We'll have the eyes of the nation watching us, and I'm confident that with the talent we have this season and with the support of Pitt fans, our team will be successful. Go Pitt!"

"Pittsburgh has been named the No. 1 sports city in America for good reason and college athletics is an important part of what makes this such a great place to live and work," Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. "The Mayor's declaration of Friday as `Turn it Blue Day' is another example of what makes Pittsburgh so special. We thank Mayor Ravenstahl and the City of Pittsburgh for getting behind our team."

"The city of Pittsburgh loves its football and we are looking forward to a great crowd Saturday night when we play Notre Dame," Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We appreciate the support from Mayor Ravenstahl and the City of Pittsburgh. I know our city's Pitt Pride will be on display throughout the weekend as we play one of our biggest games of the year."

Ranked No. 8 by The Associated Press and No. 9 in the USA Today coaches poll, Pitt has its highest November ranking since 1982. The Panthers are 12th in this week's Bowl Championship Series ratings, their highest BCS listing ever.

Pitt achieved its lofty rankings after winning five consecutive games to improve to 8-1 on the year, its best start since the 1982 Panthers, led by quarterback Dan Marino, also started 8-1.

The Pitt-Notre Dame game is being televised as part of this week's ABC Saturday Night Football package and will be aired locally on WTAE-TV, channel 4. Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color) and Lisa Salters (sideline) form the broadcast crew.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl Declares Friday 'Turn it Blue Day'