Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field|
Located high atop the Bluff in the center of the Duquesne University campus, Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field is one of the most unique football facilities in the nation. Bordered by Academic Walk on one side and Mellon Hall of Science and the recently dedicated Keller Fieldhouse on either end, Rooney Field offers scenic views of downtown Pittsburgh, the Monongahela River and Pittsburgh's historic South Side.
Bolstered by a two-phase, $4 million renovation completed in 2011, the lighted, Sportexe turf-covered facility celebrates its 19th full-season anniversary in 2013.
The completion of Rooney Field - named in honor of Duquesne University football letterman and founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League team, Art Rooney - in 1993 enabled the Dukes to play football on campus for the first time since 1929.
Foresight and planning turned a former staff and faculty parking lot into what is now the focus of the Duquesne campus. The initial space limitations caused Rooney Field to be one of the few in college football that run east-to-west. Workers had to cut down approximately six feet to finish the playing surface. The excavation created both excellent sight lines and the terrace effect that allowed for concrete bleachers on the Academic Walk side of the field and grassy knoll on the Bluff Street side of the field.
The first phase of renovation work, completed late in the summer of 2008, included the creation of permanent grandstand seating on Bluff Street - replacing temporary bleachers that had been installed for the previous 14 football seasons. Permanent concession stands and restrooms were also added to the south side of the field in 2008. The Academic Walk sideline also gained additional seating.
The Rooney Field playing surface was also replaced with Sportexe synthetic turf prior to the 2008 season.
Keller Fieldhouse, which was formally dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 6, 2011, made up the second stage of the renovation. The project, which began following the 2010 season, included the expansion of the football locker room, renovation of the athletic training room and construction of a new football coaches suite.
Keller Fieldhouse was funded by private donations and is named after Jerome C. Keller, E'65, H'91, who provided a lead gift for the facility.
In addition, two new scoreboards were installed during the summer of 2011 replacing ones that were part of the original construction of the field.
Rooney Field also features a two-tier press box, funded largely by a contribution from the Eugene P. Beard family, which was completed in the summer of 1995.
In addition to serving as home for the DU men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams, numerous other activities are held on Rooney Field. Various camps, team practices and intramural activities keep the field in constant use.
Rooney Field has enjoyed the national spotlight as the host of three televised games. On Monday, Oct. 31, 1994, ESPN2 televised DU's 16-12 win over Iona to a national audience. In addition, two games in 1995 - the MAAC Championship-deciding game vs. St. John's and the ECAC Bowl game vs. Wagner - were aired locally by then-Prime Sports.