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 multi-purpose facilities in the nation. Bordered by Academic Walk on one side and Mellon Hall of Science and 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 24th full-season anniversary in 2017.
Rooney Field, which serves as the home to Duquesne football, soccer and lacrosse, is named in honor of Duquesne University football letterman and founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League team, Art Rooney.
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, which was completed in 1993, to be one of the few in college athletics 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 years.
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 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.
The 2014 season saw completion of new locker room facilities for men’s and women’s soccer as well as women’s lacrosse.
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, football and lacrosse teams, numerous other activities are held on Rooney Field. Various camps, team practices and intramural activities keep the field in constant use.