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Pitt says Petersen Events Center sold out

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Friday, Nov. 18, 2005

For a fourth consecutive year, Pitt has sold its allotment of men's basketball season tickets at Petersen Events Center.

In making the announcement Thursday, athletic director Jeff Long said he anticipated a limited number of single-game tickets would be availabile for some games because the school is likely to receive returned tickets from the team's opponents.

"It is tremendously energizing to see the enthusiasm and support for our basketball program," Long said. "It's not a coincidence that the past four years rank among the best in Pitt's 100 years of basketball. A packed, exciting arena has been our winning edge and we appreciate the great fans who have made the Petersen Events Center one of college basketball's best venues."

The development is significant for the university following a settlement out of court of a lawsuit filed by a group of previous season-ticket holders who became upset when they were informed of a restructured seating policy at the 12,500-seat arena.

The change was made in February to raise money for scholarships and improved facilities.

"I don't apologize for us needing to raise more revenue," Long said at the time.

Pitt has experienced a 400 percent increase in season-ticket sales over the past four years. The university sold 2,700 season tickets in 2001-02 -- the last year the Panthers played at Fitzgerald Field House -- and sold nearly 11,000 heading into the 2005-06 season.

The additional 1,400 tickets are allotted to Pitt students.

"There's not a lot of teams in the country that's selling out a 12,500-seat arena," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "It says a lot about our program and the athletic department. I've been real excited about our students. Look at the energy they brought to the exhibition games."

Pitt averaged 6,734 for its two preseason games against NCAA Division II teams Slippery Rock and Indiana (Pa.).

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