A.J. Palumbo Center
Clayton Adams' layup six seconds into a 73-69 win over Saint Joseph's on Dec. 3, 1988 christened the A.J. Palumbo Center as Duquesne's men's basketball home. Twenty-seven years later - and boosted by nearly $6.7 million in renovations over the past 10 years - the 4,390-seat Palumbo Center looks as good as it did on opening day.
Located at the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Magee Street on the Northeast corner of the Duquesne campus, the Palumbo Center received a $1.8 million facelift in the summer of 2010 and $1.3 million of additional improvements in the form of the Janice and James Schaming Athletic Center completed in September of 2011. The practice gym received a facelift in the summer of 2013 and the James Christopher Rocco Basketball Theater was formally dedicated in February of 2014. The spring of 2015 brought the addition of chair back seating to the lower bowl in each end zone.
Chair back seats were installed from top-to-bottom on the north side and worn seating was replaced on the lower level of the south side of the facility in 2010. In addition a custom designed center-hung Daktronics video board and four lower level corner scoreboards were installed.
The Schaming Athletic Center included a complete renovation of the men's and women's basketball and volleyball locker rooms as well as a redesign of the lower corridor of the Palumbo Center. In addition, a new portable playing floor and basketball goals were purchased for the 2011-12 season.
The Rocco Basketball Theater, housed on the second floor, serves as DU's basketball "classroom." The space features 24 theater-style leather chairs along with an 80-inch television screen for video instruction.
The recently completed work comes on the heels of an extensive renovation completed in the spring of 2006. The `06 renovation featured new offices for the men's and women's basketball staffs, construction of a recruiting suite and state-of-the-art video breakdown room in addition to new areas for strength training and conditioning and athletic training.
The Palumbo Center, which also houses athletics department staff, has been the site of two NIT men's basketball games (1994), the WNIT (2009, 2013 & 2015), the Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship (1993, 1994, 1998, 2004 & 2012), NCAA East Regional wrestling (2000, 2005 & 2007) and two opening rounds of the A-10 women's basketball tournament (1989 & 1990).
Duquesne's basketball home is named in honor of the late Antonio J. Palumbo, the son of an immigrant family who built his wealth in the coal mining and real estate industries near his home in St. Marys, Pa. Mr. Palumbo, who served on DU's board of directors, donated more than $15 million to universities, colleges, hospitals and high schools in the region prior to his passing in 2002. His generosity resulted in his name being attached to a number of high-profile buildings and academic programs that he felt symbolized his values.
PALUMBO CENTER RENOVATIONS
2006 • Addition of new men's and women's basketball and administrative offices, recruiting suite, strength training and athletic training areas.
2010 • Chair back seats added to the north side of the building, center-hung scoreboard and auxiliary scoreboards installed. Seating capacity changes from 5,358 to 4,406.
2011 • Schaming Athletic Center dedicated (includes new locker rooms for men's and women's basketball and volleyball). New goals and portable playing floor installed.
2013 • Renovation and resurfacing of practice gym.
2014 • James Christopher Rocco Basketball Theater dedicated.
2015 • Graphic packages added to Gate B. Painting done in arena bowl. LED display scorers' table added.
2016 • Chair back seating added to the lower bowl in each end zone changes capacity to the current 4,390.