Duquesne Announces Plans For UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse

The A.J. Palumbo Center will undergo major renovations

Shelby Cassesse
October 23, 2018 - 3:38 pm

Related: Duquesne's Dambrot, Burt Excited For New Arena

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Duquesne University announced major renovations to the A.J. Palumbo Center Tuesday, which includes a name change. 

The athletic facility, home to the Duquesne basketball and volleyball teams, will become the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse. It will be named after Duquesne basketball great Chuck Cooper, who was the first African-American man to be drafted into the NBA. 

Renovations include a modernized look, premium seating opportunities, up-to-date technology, new practice and weight-lifting facilities and renovated locker rooms. More information, including a video showcasing the renovations, is available at the project's website.

"About 22 months ago, we embarked on a mission to reimagine our athletics facilities to assure we could position our brand, our competitiveness, our recruiting, and strengthen our position in the Atlantic 10 and Northeast Conferences," University Athletic Director Dave Harper said at a Tuesday press conference. "What we discovered on that mission was not just an opportunity to strengthen our position in athletics, it was an opportunity to strengthen our position across the board; think boldly, impact the City of Pittsburgh, and most importantly, impact coaches, staff and students."

Fans will see more spacious concourse areas, improved concession and food offerings, state-of-the art high-definition video boards, as well as a team shop.

University President Ken Gormley says it will be a transformation for the Duquesne campus and its neighborhood on Forbes Avenue. 

"We're talking about totally changing the look both externally and internally. It will be very much more a part of the Uptown community with a lot of glass, a lot of light so that you can see the city that is a part of community."

Renovations are scheduled to begin after the basketball season in March 2019 with completion expected prior to the 2020-21 athletics season. Home games for the Duquesne basketball and volleyball teams will be relocated for the 2019-2020 season. The school hopes the basketball teams will be able to play most games at PPG Paints Arena, while a location for volleyball home games has yet to be determined. All teams will practice in the Power Center on campus.