Pitt Athletics sponsors 19 sports programs that attract teams and fans from outside of Pennsylvania, which generates significant economic and employment impacts. The Pitt Panthers are a nationally recognized, historic program that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. With more than 500 student-athletes, 300 band members and 70 spirit squad members, the Panthers are known for a commitment to success both in the classroom and on the field.

Because of COVID-19 and the associated government-imposed venue capacity restrictions, Pitt's FY ’21 event attendance numbers were a small fraction of what they are in a typical year. For that reason, Tripp Umbach used FY ’19 data to calculate the FY ’21 economic, employment and tax impacts.

Economic Impact

Pitt Athletics rallies the community far and wide; in FY ’21, Pitt Athletics generated $403.8 million in overall economic impact for Pennsylvania. These numbers do not include non-athletic events that are held on Pitt campuses annually.

Employment Impact

In FY ’21, Pitt Athletics generated 4,287 jobs (including 225 direct jobs). These jobs (both full-time and part-time) include not only direct employment by Pitt but also indirect and induced jobs created by supply and equipment vendors; contractors and laborers for the construction and renovation of Pitt facilities; and jobs created in the community at hotels, restaurants and retail stores in support of Pitt’s workforce and its visitors. These indirect and induced jobs offer vital employment opportunities throughout the state and local economies.

State and Local Tax Impact

In FY ’21, Pitt Athletics operations in Pennsylvania generated nearly $21.2 million in state and local taxes.

Construction Impact

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Pitt announced plans for a $250 million expansion to its athletics facilities. The plan, known as Victory Heights, called for a new multi-purpose arena with 13 and eight-lane indoor track and athletic performance center, among other new buildings. The University hopes the plan will enable Pitt Athletics to keep pace with the rapidly improving facilities of its ACC rivals. The first stage of the Victory Heights plan is set to be completed in 2025. During the construction period, the $250 million undertaking is projected to generate an overall economic impact of $458.4 million, support 2,930 jobs and produce nearly $1.8 million in state and local tax impact.