Monday, March 3, 2014

The Myth of Pitt Football Attendance

Pitt football attendance has taken many jabs for decades, but as I'm about to show, not only are there good reasons why Pitt's attendance is where it is, but also that the attendance is where it should be.

For the most part, the biggest factors in determining college football attendance are whether or not your program is the team in the area, a large number of people in the area, including students, and on field success.

Average Attendance of BCS Programs in Cities with a Strong Pro Sports Presence

1.  USC  73,196
2.  UCLA 70,285
3.  Washington 68,769
4.  Arizona State  62,689
5.  Miami 53,837
6.  Stanford  50,726
7.  Pittsburgh  49,741
8.  California  49,329
9.  Georgia Tech  49,077
10. Minnesota  47,797
11.  TCU   43,598
12.  Northwestern  39,307
13.  Colorado  38,463
14.  South Florida  34,702
15.  Boston College  33,006
16.  Cincinnati  31,771

Metro Population

1.  USC  13 million
1.  UCLA  13 million
3.  Northwestern 9.5 million
4.  TCU  6.7 million
5.  Miami  5.7 million
6.  Georgia Tech  5.5 million
7.  Boston College  4.6 million
8.  California  4.5 million
8.  Stanford  4.5 million
10. Arizona State  4.3 million
11. Washington  3.5 million
12. Minnesota  3.4 million
13. South Florida 2.8 million
14. Colorado  2.6 million
15. Pittsburgh 2.4 million
16. Cincinnati  2.1 million

Main Campus Enrollment

1.  Arizona State  59,794
2.  Minnesota  51,853
3.  South Florida  47,646
4.  Washington  42,907
5.  UCLA  41,812
6.  USC 39,958
7.  California  35,899
8.  Cincinnati 33,329
9.  Colorado  31,702
10. Pittsburgh  28,766
11. Georgia Tech 21,557
12. Northwestern 19,219
13. Stanford 15,877
14. Miami  15,657
15. Boston College 14,359
16. TCU 9,725

Top 25 Final Ranking in Last Ten Years

1.  USC  8
2.  TCU  6
3.  Boston College  4
3.  Cincinnati  4
3.  Stanford  4
6.  Miami FL  3
6.  Arizona  State  3
6.  California  3
9.  Georgia Tech  2
9.  Pittsburgh  2
9.  UCLA  2
12. Minnesota  1
12. Northwestern  1
12. Washington  1
15. Colorado  0
15. South Florida  0

If you combine these factors, this is where the attendance of each should rank, and where they do rank. I combined the ranking of the three previous categories (metro population, enrollment, success).  The number to the right of their name if the combined rank. For instance, USC is 1st, 1st, and 6th, which gives them a score of 8.  The lower the number, the higher the score in this case.

1.  USC  8 - What they actually rank: 1
2.  UCLA  15 - What they actually rank: 2
3.  Arizona State  17 - What they actually rank: 4
4.  California 21 - What they actually rank: 8
5.  TCU  22 - Where they actually rank: 11
6. Stanford  24 - Where they actually rank: 6
7.  Boston College  25 - Where they actually rank: 16
7.  Miami 25 - Where they actually rank: 5
9.  Georgia Tech 26 - Where they actually rank: 9
9.  Minnesota  26 - Where they actually rank: 10
11. Washington  27 - Where they actually rank: 3
11. Cincinnati  27 - Where they actually rank: 16
11. Northwestern  27 - Where they actually rank: 12
14. South Florida  31 - Where they actually rank: 14
15. Pittsburgh  34 - Where they actually rank: 7
16. Colorado 38- Where they actually rank: 13

As you can see, this formula proves to be pretty accurate since the attendance of most schools match up with where they are expected to rank. There are three schools that seem to be underachieving- TCU, Boston College, and Cincinnati. But both TCU and Boston College have extremely small enrollment, which easily explains that. Cincinnati, however, has no excuse.

There are also two schools that averaged significantly higher than where they were expected. Washington should be 11th, but they are actually 3rd in attendance. That number is slightly skewed by the fact that they haven't been very successful on the field in the last decade. But they historically have had a lot of success, and when combined with a large population, a large student body, and just two pro sports teams, it's obvious why their attendance is so high. The other, more impressive overachiever is Pittsburgh, who hasn't had great on field success for decades, has a comparatively small population for a major city, and doesn't have a huge student population.

To be specific, and why it's even more impressive for Pitt, is that Pittsburgh has the smallest metro population of any area that has three major professional sports teams. That means it's difficult enough to sustain three pro sports teams (and three popular ones at that), not to mention a major college football program too.

Attendance being limited by being in a pro sports area can not be overstated. USC has had huge success on the field, 13 million people to draw from, and no NFL team providing competition, yet they still only draw 73,196 a game, which is roughly 30,000 less than what the best college towns draw. That number is also 20,000 below capacity for their stadium.

There are a few examples of how Pitt has actually done well in attendance. Arizona State has the most students on their main campus of anybody in the country with 60,000 students. They also have 4.3 million people in the metro area. Both numbers are double, or more than double, than Pitt, yet the Sun Devils average only 13,000 more fans per game.

Another example is Minnesota, who has 3.4 million people in the metro area, one million more than Pittsburgh, and 52,000 students on their main campus, twice that of Pittsburgh.  Despite those advantages, the Golden Gophers average roughly 47,000 fans a game, less than the Panthers.

Highly regarded statistician Nate Silver wrote an article for the New York Times in which he determined how many fans each program had. Pitt was ranked No. 37 in the country with over 800,000 fans.

The five programs with the most fans were Ohio State (3.1 million), Michigan (2.9 million), Penn State (2.6 million), Notre Dame (2.3 million), and Texas (2.2 million).  Notre Dame is the school that Catholics around the country follow so their popularity is obvious. The other four are a perfect storm for huge attendance.

All four have huge success, mostly because they have the money, through attendance, to have huge budgets. But one can easily see how they got those huge attendance numbers in the first place.

Ohio State only has the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets as competition, and clearly that's not much competition at all.  The Blue Jackets formed in 1997, long after the Buckeyes had the area dominated.   Columbus also has a metro population of nearly 2 million people, almost as much as Pittsburgh. Imagine if Pitt and the Penguins were the only two teams in Pittsburgh. No Pirates, no Steelers.  If that's not enough, Ohio State also has over 57,000 students on the main campus, twice what Pitt has. That means not only a large number of current students, but also a large number of alumni.

Michigan is very similar.  They are just 45 minutes from Detroit, which is close enough to visit games, but with an attendance of over 100,000, they are a a large college town.  The Detroit metro area has 4.3 million people in it, double that of Pittsburgh. If that's not enough Michigan has 43,000 students on the main campus, and they are believed to have the most living alumni in the country. That's how you routinely fill up the biggest football stadium, college or pro, in the country.

Texas is in Austin, which has over 1.8 million people in the metro area, and no professional sports teams. That alone will make the Longhorns football program popular. But then throw in an enrollment of over 52,000 and you can see why they get double what Pitt gets in attendance.

Then there's Penn State, who Pitt fans are most compared to. The Nittany Lions have no pro teams within hours yet can still draw from both Pittsburgh's 2.4 million metro population and Philadelphia's 6 million metro population.  That's a double whammy.  On top of that they also have a combined 98,000 total students in their entire system.  By comparison, Pitt has 35,000 total students in their entire system.  Let me repeat that so it will sink in- Penn State has three times more people to chose from.

Looking further at the schools with top attendance, one sees much of the same. No. 3 in attendance is Alabama with just over 101,000. They have the perfect blend of big college town (93,000), close to a big city (Birmingham with 1.1 million metro population), and a big university (nearly 35,000).

No. 6 in attendance is Tennessee with around 95,500. The university competes with no sports teams, but has 850,000 people in their metro area, and a large university of 27,000 students.  Again, roughly the same size school and population as Pittsburgh, but with no sports teams to compete against them. They are the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins all wrapped up in a big ball of orange.

The next four are Georgia, LSU, Nebraska, and Florida. All are college towns with no professional teams within an hour of them, yet close to major population centers. Like Penn State, Georgia is the state school, and draws from all over the state. Atlanta, with it's 5.5 million metro population, and Augusta with over 500,000 more, are close by. LSU is in Baton Rouge, which has over 800,000 people in it's metro population, and is a little more than an hour from New Orleans, which has 1.2 million more in it's metro population. Nebraska is in Lincoln, which has 265,000 people, and is less than an hour from Omaha which has about 875,000 more in it's metro population. Florida is in Gainesville, which is just a little over an hour from Jacksonville which has 1.4 million people in the metro area, and has 50,000 students.

I think all of this proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Pitt's attendance does not mean that they don't have fans that care, but that it all depends on how many people a school can draw from.

The magic potion is to have a very large university, near, but not in, a major city, and with no major professional teams present.  The University of Pittsburgh meets none of that criteria, meaning that their attendance will never reach huge numbers, and may be maxed out at roughly half of what the schools with the most attendance achieve.


  1. Excellent research , but there is no way Pitt is actually averaging over 49,000 a game. I' ve had season tickets since Heinz opened and the real number is about 35,000.

  2. One other thing that has to be kept in mind is that Pitt has been average, at best, for most of the last 30 years. So it is amazing that they are drawing even 20K.


  3. Chris,

    The question is... How many of the 49,741 are actually in the stands?


  4. That's not the main point I was trying to make. What I was trying to get at was that fans from schools like Penn State or Ohio State look down at Pitt because of lower attendance when in reality Pitt doesn't have nearly the same amount of advantages.


    1. Your intent is ADMIRABLE.

      Here's something else to go along with the question of attendance for Pitt Football Games.

      Below are two "clips" I was able to find giving some insight to fan attendance comparisons between Pitt Stadium and Heinz Field.

      Again, it's not reflective of ACTUAL fans in the seats... but looking at the numbers, it's pretty obvious that a Winning Record is the MAJOR FACTOR in ticket sales whether games are played at Heinz or Old Pitt Stadium.

      Heinz Field

      "Attendance for Panthers games has varied from an average high of 59,197 people per game throughout the 2003 season to a low of 33,680 in 2007. Most recently, Pitt averaged 53,446 in home attendance during the 2009 season."

      Pitt Stadium

      "Last year (1996), Pitt's 4-7 record was a factor in limiting its attendance to 30,795, down from 33,175 in 1995.

      Highest average attendance was 54,818 in 1982.


    2. Pretty much proves my point that Pitt is limited to a max of around 55k no matter how successful they are on the field.

  5. I would say actual % matters too. Often times its actual empty seats that cause the problems with perception.

    You noted Cincy as a team in your list, they are a perfect example of how % matters. Most people are always going to believe off of perception that Cincy has a better following, if only for the fact that their stadium actually appears full every game. Yet you can say "But PITT has a higher average attendance!" and that is true. But Cincy can only hold like 32k

  6. It is amazing that we have 35,000 (if that is true) coming to the games with the little success we have. It is about right with this market. Can you imagine if we were winning what we would average.

  7. Interesting and I think relevant. FWIW, Florida is in Gainesville and Jacksonville is about 80 minutes away.

  8. When you watch a game on television and see all those yellow seats, It's embarrassing. Move the crowd as close to the action as possible to at least give an illusion that there's lots of people. Pack the sections that's going to be shown on television. Just make it look good

  9. Consistent with this analysis it's not a coincidence that Pitt's dominant sport, basketball, is also the only major pro sport not present in Pittsburgh.

    All kidding aside though, those yellow seats do actually are things worse. They're so glaringly obvious when empty that it makes things look worse than they are.

  10. It would really help if Pitt had an on campus, smallish (45k?) stadium, to match the demand of fans. It wouldn't be a magic formula to make Pitt a top program, but it would help. Just look at the difference in atmosphere it made for Minnesota and Rutgers. Of course, atmosphere is only one piece of the puzzle. But it is a piece.

  11. I totally agree @ Daveclt. A 40-45,9000 seat stadium would be perfect

  12. There is nowhere to put a stadium on campus and please understand they're not going to bulldoze the park to build a stadium and all the parking that would need to go with it.

    To say nothing of the fact that it will never be financially prudent to build a Pitt only football stadium when we can share the costs of a stadium with the steelers. It would be nice but it truly will never happen.

  13. Chris, that's an outstanding analysis.

  14. The same people said that you can't build a Peterson Events Center. They have been selling that out consistently for the past few years. It's definitely possible

  15. Most interesting.

  16. Doke:

    Thank you for all the work that you put into this.

  17. An on campus stadium is never gonna happen. Please stop even wishing that as an option.

  18. Great article, good data and analysis. When you look at the variable Chris analyzed, Pitt can only really affect is Top 25 finishes. I suppose they could try to increase enrollment, but that is a longer term issue. Of course, improving their on-field performance has been pretty long term at this point, too...

    The on-campus/off-campus is a pretty hot topic. I did a quick google search and found a site that lists 25 of 124 FBS schools play off-campus. Looking of Chris's top 16, the following are off-campus:
    South Florida
    And of course Pitt

    Interestingly, none of these has lower attendance than the "formula" predicts.

  19. Great article, Chris. But I think its actually much simpler than this. Generally speaking, large school = lots of students = lots of alumni = lots of potential fans in seats. Year to year swings (which are relatively minor) are dictated by on field success and attractiveness of schedule.

  20. The data upon which Chris relies makes the following all the more remarkable:
    Pitt has the sixth-highest endowment ($2.6 billion) among public universities in the United States, behind only Texas, Michigan, Texas A&M, Cal and UVa. Pitt's endowment exceeds that of Ohio State, North Carolina, Penn State, Michigan State, Washington, Wisconsin ... the list goes ... its endowment exceeds that of every Big 10 school except Michigan and every ACC school except UVa. Pitt's endowment exceeds Penn State's endowment by a whopping $839 million. The message is this: Support for a university is measured by more than who attends football games on a Saturday.


  21. But this is a Pitt Sports Blog and the topic is Football Attendance.

  22. One important factor in this analysis is noticeable by its absence: the number of alumni within driving distance of the venue. This skews the conclusions quite a bit, as an extremely high percentage of Pitt alumni still live within a few hours drive of campus - oops, I mean within a few hours drive of the off-campus, inner-city, rented pro stadium.

    1. That doesn't skew anything. The same can be said for every school.

    2. Not really, when you consider the fact that Pitt has a much higher percentage of Alumni who stay within the area when compared with most other schools.

      You make a good point when limiting yourself to pure numbers. However, it is significant when you are looking at PERCENTAGE of seats filled. PSU's 110,000 venue is always near max (and we're talking actual butts-in-the-seats here - not Heinz Fields "tickets sold"). Regardless of venue size, Pitt will never draw the numbers of a PSU. But, it would be nice to see a consistent crowd of about 85 per cent capacity at rented Heinz - that's about 50,000 real bodies per game. Or, as some other readers have already pointed out, a 45,000 seat, adjacent-to-campus venue, would fit the bill nicely.

    3. I said yesterday on twitter that I would love a 50k on campus stadium. But that's not going to happen.

    4. Please justify the assertion that more Pitt alums remain in the area than other large research universities. I doubt it's true.

    5. Terrence, I'd like to see the data in support of your claim. I'll wait.

    6. A 50,000 seat stadium, however unlikely right now, could be on the docket in 36 months if the new chancellor see it as an important piece of revenue production or a better perception of Pitt. Who knows what he will see as important or not. My understanding is that is how Maryland ended up in the Big 10 after 50+ in the ACC, a new direction under a new chancellor.
      I think we all agree it would be great if it could happen so I am not ruling it out until this guy comes in and we get a chance to see what he does, or does not do, with the Pitt sports programs.


  23. In my prior post above, the numbers expose the OTHER MYTH concerning Pitt Football... which is that Heinz Field is an AUTOMATIC DRAW compared to Old Pitt Stadium. In fact, this was one of the arguments made by Pitt Admin and its Athletic Director when the notion of tearing down Pitt Stadium went public.

    But, as the numbers show, Heinz draws no different than Pitt Stadium... and POSSIBLY LESS. It pretty much depends on whether Pitt is having a Winning Season or not.

    As to the argument for an ON-CAMPUS Stadium, I am among the "Never say Never" Group... and for good reason.

    Sure, Heinz Field will have most of its seats filled for the Big Games and during those seasons when Pitt is a Winner. But what about the other years and those meaningless games when the "Mustard Seats" at Heinz will go unfilled?

    Something else to consider is the lack of student attendance due primarily to the RIDICULOUS COMMUTE students face on Game Days. And for those students who do attend, the EMBARRASSING FOURTH QUARTER EXODUS made from games in an attempt to avoid the endless lines they're forced to endure for a Bus Ride back to campus.

    In my opinion, Pitt will NEVER regain its foothold as a National Football Power UNLESS it does commit to building a New Stadium in Oakland.

    In line with the subject of Pitt Football Attendance, the locale would predictably lead to a BOOST in Student Attendance and more students becoming football fans based on the enhanced Game-Day experience alone. This, in turn, could impact the Loyalty of the Pitt Alumni Fan Base for years to come.


    1. Pitt of Dreams makes an excellent point: hook the student body on Pitt Football, and they will return as alumni. This means more than merely sitting in the stands (with spouse and kids) 10 years from now; it also translates into a forever bond with the University, which begets monetary contributions and other forms of support.

    2. I find the whole student commute thing to Heinz Field funny. Must be the longest 4 miles in the world.....

    3. There was a really good piece on ESPN a couple weeks ago on the decline of student attendance across all programs. Even alabama and Michigan are struggling to get students to attend and to stay. It focused on the university of Arizona for those interested in finding.

    4. My daughter and her friends don't have a problem whatsoever with the distance to the stadium. It's another myth perpetuated by alums yearning for the good ole days.

    5. Then why do they all leave a the start of the 4th quarter?

    6. Anon - they stay for the wins

    7. Not true Joe.

      They stayed for Florida State. But lesser games, half the Students head for the exits. Not a myth.

      As to the Glory Days. Pitt's Glory Days were actually short in number.

      What I'm promoting is a FORWARD THINKING PLAN to usher in a New Golden Era for Pitt Football unlike the past. It can be done.


    8. It sucks as a student going down to the union and waiting for a bus. If you live off campus it's not even worth it. It sucks even worse after the game waiting to get on one, especially if you wait till the game is over.
      Who really cares about the students though, all that matters is the big money suites and lower bowl seats.

    9. Pitt of dreams, while I can see your point regarding an on-campus stadium, take some things into consideration.

      First, Pitt stadium was an absolute dump when it was torn down. I can tell you that from having worked there as an usher while going to grad school in the mid-90's. The cost of completely renovating that stadium dwarfed the cost of building the Pete in the millions, and if you recall, the university received state aid to build the Pete, so renovated Pitt stadium was pretty much out of the question.

      Secondly, Pitt is not a land grant university like most schools in the BCS. It's a semi-private only from the standpoint that they accept federal aid, and really do not have a sizable piece of property in which to build another on campus facility similar to Pitt stadium.

      Combine that with not having the financial resources in order to build a new facility, and you get Pitt playing in Heinz field pretty much as long as they have a football program.

      Mike W.


    10. Anonymous 2:54

      Thanks for offering some firsthand perspective.

      Totally agree that the Student Body got a RAW DEAL when the decision was made to move Pitt Football off campus to Heinz.

      College Football Game Days are all about tradition. Waiting in line to ride a packed School Bus to and from Games does not exactly qualify.

      Rather than save Pitt Football... moving the games to Heinz might just kill it over the long term.



    11. Mike W.

      Agree that the Old Pitt Stadium was a dump.

      I'm in the group that believes the Old Pitt Stadium should have been torn down and a NEW Pitt Stadium erected in its footprint... minus the track which would have brought the Fans in much closer to the field.

      As for "The Pete", the basketball arena could have been built in any of a number of other possible locations.

      Keeping with tradition, I would have also kept the Original Entrance and use it as a facade and incorporated it as part of the New Stadium.

      The BONEHEADED decision to surrender the location of Pitt Stadium in exchange for a Basketball Arena does present a challenge. But, never say "NEVER." There's always a WAY to get something done if it becomes important enough.


    12. As a season ticket holder, I have seen first hand that the Pitt student body will stay for the entire game, if the team gives them something worth staying for. I also attended games at Pitt stadium as a student -- where the student body was regularly leaving early despite the fact that the stadium was on campus. So there are a lot of holes in the arguments above. So, those two things being relatively equal, if you are catering to fans, the ones you really need to cater to are the ones driving in from various locations throughout the city and PA. If they build a new "on-campus" stadium, they better build a new highway to get there too. It is a big enough pain getting into Oakland even when there aren't 40,000-50,0000 people converging on it. If they don't, Pitt will have spent millions and millions of dollars on a new stadium for zero improvement in attendance.

  24. I was opposed to razing Pitt Stadium without an open, public discussion of ways to fix it. I'm not a fan of Heinz because no matter what Pitt does, it is still a pro, rented stadium.

    That said, however, urban colleges with major sports programs have been playing in pro venues, or city-sponsored venues, for years. Heinz Field is only a few miles from the Pitt campus, although, ironically, there are more students living on campus now then there were even forty years ago, creating the need to get students to games.

    Pitt does a decent job at that.

    Disassociating use of Heinz from the lying, deceitful, divisive athletic director isn't easy.

    We have no choice but to accept Heinz and make the best of it.

    However, if Pitt devoted as much time and attention to making its athletic teams the nation's best, in the same way the BOTS devote time and hours of work to the limitless expansion of UPMC (now in the news for being an unfair employer), Pitt would be playing in a new (or refurbished Pitt) stadium as well as a new basketball arena.

    Nevertheless, Pitt's situation is not that bad. When Pitt is hot and a popular opponent comes to town, Pitt fans will come out to Heinz, the Console Center, etc., to support their teams.

  25. Why does everyone leave Vanderbilt off the urban campus mix, Is it because of the Nashville metro area population. Nashville has pro teams in football & hockey.

  26. There are a ton of games we know we wont sell out. At this point for the next few years why not do major promos with schools to build the attendance. I don't know what is being done now, but I imagine if they had a deal that 20,000 seats(make them the cheap seats) were sold to anyone student in the area for $5 a ticket, hell even a $1 a ticket would be extra revenue and it would fill the stadium.

  27. Well done. Easy to see why Louisville could continue to improve their lot.

  28. Way to go Chris, now all those attendance babies will have to focus their complaints toward the uniforms...

    Does this mean Steve Pederson might know what he's doing???

    1. SP has done ok, with everything but dinocat and football. The move to the ACC in particular was a good move.

      However, because of his bad football IQ, we need a much better more experienced Assistant AD for football operations. Football revenue is the tide that raises all ships.

    2. No. The coaching debacles 2010-12, the alienation of a significant portion of an already small fan base & that god-awful switch in branding when he first arrived demonstrate clearly that Pederson do not know what he's doing.

  29. Pittsburgh in general is a fantastic sports town. I played HS hockey in the 80's and went to Pens games when they were horrible and they had reasonable attendance pre-Lemieux for how horrible they were. The Spirit soccer team would sell out. Pitt hoops has always drawn commensurate with the arenas they play in.

    All teams in all sports in all cities/colleges experience drop-offs in attendance when they are not performing well. I'd argue PGH teams, including Pitt, experience less of a drop-off than most other places. Look at how well Pitt is doing in attendance in football and basketball, not in comparison to PSU/OSU but to its' peer group. Then keep in mind teams like Cincy and USC have had significantly more success in both football and basketball and we still out-draw them. When I say significantly more, Cincy football and basketball has outperformed Pitt consistently over the past 15 years and USC football was dominant fairly recently.

    I'll go one further. PSU is a bandwagon town. Look at the Bryce Jordan Center, a hoops mecca, that is all but 1/2 filled because the team sucks. If you had PSU go .500 for the next 5 years in football, and I hope that happens, that stadium will be down to 80K attendance. Make it an extended drought and the stadium would look empty. At least Pitt fans still show up commensurate to their total fan base regardless of wins on the field, for the most part.

  30. Washington was the only game in town in the Seattle area until expansion brought the Seahawks and Mariners to town. They were the story in the sports sections of every newspaper in the western end of the state for 60 years. That builds up fan loyalty. I am reading "The Boys In The Boat" about the UW rowing team which won the gold medal for the 8s at the 1936 Olympics, and one of the things that struck me was the coverage even rowing at UW got in the 1930s.

    While Pitt's attendance presumably is measured on the basis of tickets sold rather than people in the stands, I am sure that is true of other teams as well. No way there were 53,000 in the stands for Miami games at the old Orange Bowl. And I went to a BC game where the attendance was announced as 36,000 but there couldn't have been 20,000 there.

  31. Pitt counts tickets sold to justify their attendance, not actual attendance. This changes the argument completely.

  32. Pitt could and should play a couple of huge games a year at the city's biggest stadium, Heinz Field and 3RS in the past. Play PSU, WVU, ND or a market gem on the North Shore.

    Meanwhile, an on campus, River Campus, venue, down by Hazelwood, surrounded by graduate student housing, IM fields, and perhaps a Panther Hollow Tram