While construction on the new home for Robert Morris basketball continues, Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned who the Colonials’ first opponent in their new home will be.
Robert Morris will open the 4,000 seat UPMC Events Center next fall by hosting the Pitt Panthers.
Due to construction of the new arena, Robert Morris has played this season in the North Athletic Complex, where the Colonials hosted Cornell in the opening round of the CIT.
“We’re extremely thrilled to open the UPMC Events Center against the University of Pittsburgh,” Robert Morris head coach Andrew Toole said in a press release. “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.”
The UPMC Events Center will replace the Charles Sewall Center, where RMU basketball made its home 1985 until the end of the 2017-18 season. The new building was supposed to open in the middle of the 2018-19 season, but construction delays pushed back the debut.
Pitt has faced Robert Morris 30 times since the Colonials joined Division I in 1976, with the Panthers victorious in all 30 contests.
“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 head coach Jeff Capel said in a press release. “Coach Toole has built a very good program and we are excited to help RMU open their new building.”
Pitt has never played at Robert Morris. The first 21 games in the series were played at Fitzgerald Field House and the final nine have been played at Petersen Events Center.
The last meeting between the teams came on Nov. 27, 2011, when Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points to lead the Panthers to an 81-71 win. The ten-point margin was the closest game in the history of the series.
An exact date for the game hasn’t been determined yet and it could not be confirmed if this is a one-year deal or if there will be a return visit to Oakland for the Colonials.
Pitt will start its 2019-20 season with a home game against Florida State. The only other confirmed non-conference games for the Panthers is a trip to the Fort Myers Tip-Off Tournament, playing two games against Bradley, Kansas State or Northwestern.
UPDATE (12:15 PM)-
**Following the posting of this story, both schools confirmed the playing of this game. The game will be played on Tuesday, November 12.
Tickets for this game will go on sale, Monday April 8 at 10 AM through Ticketmaster.