SHU to transform athletic facilities

FAIRFIELD—Renovations on Sacred Heart University’s William Pitt Athletic & Convocation Center will begin this spring.

The 2,000-seat multipurpose arena in the heart of campus will undergo a major facelift. The facility has served as the heart of SHU Division I athletics and is the competition home to multiple sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling. In the upgraded layout, the court will rotate 90 degrees from its current position and be surrounded by permanent bleacher-style and backed arena-style seating, bringing fans closer to the action, and creating a true home court advantage. This redesign will maximize the current footprint of the building and allow for ample practice options creating a top-tier experience for SHU’s talented student-athletes. The renovations will provide a high-quality fan experience, especially with the addition of a mezzanine for VIP seating and events, video boards, sound systems and lighting.

“We’re excited to see the Pitt Center evolve and become a premiere sporting arena,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “With the Pioneers’ transition from the Northeast Conference to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), we are committed, more than ever, to providing our student-athletes with a competitive environment. Renovating the Pitt Center with state-of the-art features is part of that process. It’s important we show our Pioneers we are dedicated to their success.”

In October, SHU announced its move to the MAAC next academic year. The move connects the University with a growing national presence and media following to a conference of like-minded, predominantly Catholic schools that was founded in 1980. For SHU, the new MAAC also includes a natural rivalry with a pair of Connecticut schools with similar philosophies in Fairfield and Quinnipiac.

“We can’t wait to see the Pitt Center transform into a dynamic athletic facility,” said Judy Ann Riccio, SHU’s director of athletics. “This transformation along with a conference transition means more opportunities for our student-athletes to thrive.”

The University will partner with the S/L/A/M Collaborative architecture and construction firm to complete the renovations in time for next year’s basketball season.

The Pitt Center opened in 1997. The three-floor facility includes basketball courts, a fitness center, rehab rooms, locker spaces, weight room and more. The venue serves as a gathering space for the SHU community. Numerous concerts, games, Relay for Life events, lectures and convocation ceremonies have been held at the Pitt Center throughout the last nearly 30 years.

The University is inviting alumni, parents and friends to the SHU Athletics Showcase on Saturday, February 24, at noon, followed by a men’s basketball competition with Sacred Heart taking on NEC rival Central Connecticut State University at 2 p.m. The SHU Athletics Showcase will provide insight and visuals of the upcoming renovations and more detail on the conference realignment with the MAAC inaugural 2024-2025 season.