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Pitt will be Robert Morris basketball’s first opponent at new arena | TribLIVE.com
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Pitt will be Robert Morris basketball’s first opponent at new arena

Jerry DiPaola
913562_web1_Robert-Morris-UPMC-events-center1
A rendering of the new UPMC Events Center at Robert Morris University set to open in 2019.

Pitt’s men’s basketball team will be Robert Morris’ first opponent next season when the Colonials open 4,000-seat Peoples Court, their new on-campus home at the UPMC Events Center, officials from both schools announced Thursday.

The game will be Nov. 12.

“We’re extremely thrilled to open the UPMC Events Center against the University of Pittsburgh,” Robert Moris coach Andy Toole said in a statement. “Going up against a quality, local opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference that is extremely well-coached is a great opportunity for our program.

“The opening of our new arena with our first game against the Panthers will be a historic day not only for our program but for the Robert Morris University community and the region.”

“Playing in the inaugural game at RMU’s new venue is a terrific opportunity for our program to face a quality non-conference opponent in what is sure to be an outstanding road environment,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. “Coach Toole has built a very good program and we are excited to help RMU open their new building.”

Pitt hasn’t played Robert Morris since 2011, but that may not be the only twist to its 2019-20 schedule.

The ACC has expanded its conference schedule from 18 to 20 games, meaning schools may be forced to play two fewer non-conference games. Pitt had previously announced plans to join Bradley, Kansas State and Northwestern in the Fort Myers Tip-Off Nov. 25-27 and to play in the 2019 ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which is traditionally played over a four-day span in late November and early December.

As a result, missing from Pitt’s schedule for the first time since 1969 will be Duquesne as the historic City Game takes a one-year hiatus. But athletic directors Heather Lyke of Pitt and Dave Harper of Duquesne said Thursday that the series will resume with games in 2020 and 2021 at PPG Paints Arena.

Pitt will open its season Nov. 6 at Petersen Events Center in an ACC game against Florida State.

Pitt leads the all-time series with Robert Morris, 30-0, including a 9-0 at Petersen Events Center. All 30 previous games have been played at Pitt’s home venue.

Construction on the UPMC Events Center iis expected to be completed this spring, and there are plans to hold graduation ceremonies there this spring.

After the demolition of the 30-year-old Charles L. Sewall Center, Robert Morris’ men’s and women’s teams played this season at the North Athlet Complex on its Moon campus.

Tickets for the Pitt/Robert Morris game will go on sale at 10 a.m. April 8. through Ticketmaster. In order to purchase tickets for the game against Pitt, season tickets must be purchased.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pitt
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