Steelers Could Leave Pitt Behind With New Facility

The Pitt Panthers shared facility agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers may potentially come to an end.
Jul 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, United States;  Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22)
Jul 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, United States; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pitt Panthers share a football facility, UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, with the Pittsburgh Steelers on the South Side and have done so for more than two decades, but that may come to an end sooner rather than later.

The two teams share the facility, which includes five outdoor fields, two for the Panthers and three for the Steelers, as well as an indoor field. There is a separation between the internal facilities, in terms of weight rooms, offices, meeting rooms, etc.

The Steelers received poor grades in a 2024 NFLPA survey for their facilites, with an 'F' for the locker room, and a 'D+' for the training room. This is somewhat unsurprising.

Some critics blame the shared facility with the Panthers as a reason for the poor grades. They say that the facility isn't big enough, resorting to a cramped feeling for most players and coaches, while the shared agreement also makes it tough for both parties to address important changes and do so quickly.

This is despite the Steelers not updgrading their side of the facility and the Panthers using donations to upgrade a number of different areas of their side of the facility.

One of their most recent renovations last year included new hot and cold pools, installation of new electrical wiring, an underwater treadmill, new walls and floors and some miscellaneous mechanical upgrades. 

Still, it is likely that if the Steelers choose to build a new practice facility, they would do so without Pitt involved, according to the Post-Gazette's Ray Fittapaldo.

He also suggested that Pitt needs to move closer to their campus, despite the facility residing less than two miles from the Cathedral of Learning in the Oakland area of the city, plus a lack of land on campus for what the football team needs.

Pitt also unveiled Victory Heights, which is bringing upgrades for 16 of the 19 programs at the University, aside from football and men's and women's basketball.

There is also little space within the city limits of Pittsburgh for land the Steelers would have access to, forcing them to move out to the suburbs or even further, depending on how big of an area they need/want to make those improvements.

Pitt does have their own benefits in sharing a facility with the Steelers. This includes keeping the college-pro connection there for the players and making it easier for their players to transition from the ACC to the NFL, leading to more sustained success for alumni.

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Dominic Campbell


Follow Dominic Campbell on Twitter.