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A.J. Palumbo Center

Pittsburgh, PA

Home of the Duquesne Dukes

2.6

3.2

A.J. Palumbo Center (map it)
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15282


Duquesne Dukes website

A.J. Palumbo Center website

Year Opened: 1988

Capacity: 4,406

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Put Up Your Dukes

The A.J. Palumbo Center serves as the home arena for the Duquesne Dukes basketball team. It was opened in 1988 and holds 4,406 people. Despite being an arena for a Division I program, it is nothing like big-time college basketball. Being a mid-major school, Duquesne isn’t nearly as well known as schools in conferences like the ACC.

The Dukes are members of the Atlantic 10. The team has not made an NCAA tournament appearance since 1977, the year of their last conference tournament win.

2.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

To put it simply, the A.J. Palumbo Center does not have a large selection of food. The menu here is pretty standard hot dogs, pretzels, chips, popcorn, candy, and ice cream make up the bulk of the food choices. The food is all reasonably priced; a bratwurst is the most expensive item at $5. They also occasionally have pulled pork sandwiches available for $5.

The drinks are Pepsi products, Gatorade, and water. Soft drinks are $2.50, bottled water is $3, and Gatorade is $3.50. There are also various beers available for $5.

The layout of the concession stands is a bit inconvenient. Upon entrance through the main doors, there are two concessions waiting for you. Once you get into the gymnasium, there is only one other concession stand and it is hidden away in a corner. The strangest part is that the third stand is almost directly above the other two. Fortunately it is a small arena, so if you are sitting on the far end, it still isn't a terribly long walk to get your food and drinks.

Atmosphere    2

The atmosphere at a Duquesne basketball game is not overwhelming. The student section is not very loud and in general, their games do not sell a ton of tickets. The people that are there are reasonably loud and provide as good of an atmosphere as possible, but a Duquesne basketball game at the A.J. Palumbo Center feels more like a big time high school game than a D-I college contest.

The best part about the atmosphere is the pep band that plays throughout the game. They provide an almost comic element to the game, giving sound effects for plenty of major plays throughout the game. If the home team scores a basket, it is often followed by a cartoony sound effect. The same goes if an opponent has a turnover or makes a key mistake.

Neighborhood    4

The A.J. Palumbo Center is located in the Hill District of Downtown Pittsburgh. It is just two blocks away from the Consol Energy Center, the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This can be a bit of a pain if both teams play at the same time because you will have to deal with traffic and increased parking prices.

The positive side of being so close to Consol is the wealth of food nearby. There are plenty of great sports bars close to the A.J. Palumbo Center, as well as other restaurants. One of my personal favorites is Milano's Pizza, so be sure to check that out. For people who are coming in from out of town, there is a hotel conveniently located just a few blocks from the A.J. Palumbo Center and Consol Energy Center. The Cambria Suites is extremely close by, but because it is so close to downtown Pittsburgh, there are plenty of other accommodation options available as well.

Fans    3

The fans that show up to the games are definitely into the action and pay close attention. Unfortunately, the Dukes do not garner much of a following, especially when it comes to non-conference games or games early in the season. They do their best to create noise, and when the arena is anywhere near being filled, it can get pretty loud.

The student section is another aspect that reminds me of big time high school basketball. They only take up one or two sections for most games, but they are a rowdy bunch that likes to make as much noise as possible. Overall, they have a healthy passion for their team and create a good amount of noise for such a small crowd.

Access    4

If there is no hockey game that night in Pittsburgh, the A.J. Palumbo Center is one of the easiest city-based arenas to access. There are plenty of signs for Consol Energy Center, so if you get lost, just follow those. Because the Penguins have such a big following, there are numerous huge parking lots and garages in the area so parking is not a problem. If there is a hockey game on the same night, the parking prices will leap up and you will likely end up in a garage.

Once inside, it is just a short walk until you are in the stands. One strange thing about the layout of this arena is how hidden the third concession stand is. There is a sign pointing to it, but it is still tucked away in the back corner of the building. Other than that, navigation throughout the arena is a breeze and you will likely not need any assistance from staff to find what you're looking for.

Return on Investment    3

If you are desperate to see some college basketball on a budget in the Pittsburgh area, then Duquesne games are the way to go. Tickets start at $12, significantly cheaper than the experience at Pitt. Just remember that you get what you pay for. Don't expect an incredible atmosphere because the crowds at the A.J. Palumbo are not huge (most of the bigger games are played at Consol Energy Center).

But at the end of the day, this is Division I basketball and can be extremely entertaining. As long as you aren't expecting a type of nationally televised crowd and atmosphere, it's tough to walk away disappointed after only spending $12.

Extras    0

With such a small arena, there is not much room for extras. The only thing here is a small fan shop located on the second floor in one of the arena's corners. It just has the basic fan necessities like Duquesne shirts and towels. Other than that, the rest of the arena is pretty barebones in terms of extra features.

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Crowd Reviews

Duquesne Dukes

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

Duquesne plays basketball in the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. The Palumbo Center is located just 2 blocks from the CONSOL Energy Center. It was built in 1988 and holds 4,406. The most recent renovation was just finished in 2010. The A.J. Palumbo Center has a unique design with some odd sightlines. The main overhead scoreboard does not have enough room for stats, so small scoreboards are located in each corner of the arena. The corner scoreboards then rotate between the score and various stats such as points and foul totals.

Electric Company

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

The 2011–2012 season has been one of many changes for the Tampa Bay Lightning, both on and off the ice. It's an overall mentality adjustment preached from the second-year owner, Jeff Vinik, after he purchased the team from the warring duo of Oren Koules (most famous as the producer of the "Saw" franchise) and Len Barrie, both of whom disagreed on just about everything having to do with the team, including whether or not to trade longtime team superstar Vinny Lecavalier to the Montreal Canadiens. Their in-fighting spread into the locker room and onto the ice, so when Vinik seized control of the team, he was determined to clean up all the venom left behind.

The first season of Vinik's tenure, 2010–2011, included a surprise run deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, barely losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Eager to capitalize on this newfound sense of camaraderie and euphoria, 2011–2012 was determined to be the season of no return.

First and foremost, their logo and colors have changed from the old black, dark blue, and white of the last 19 seasons (though the logo went through some retooling throughout that timeframe) to bright blue and white with a cleaner-looking, wordless logo. Then, the Forum was scheduled for an overdue facelift, with the main additions discussed later in this review. And lastly, to coincide with the renaming of its naming rights holder, the St. Pete Times Forum (née Ice Palace) was no more, now replaced by the Tampa Bay Times Forum on January 1, 2012.

The King is dead. Long live the King!

Electric Company

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

The 2011–2012 season has been one of many changes for the Tampa Bay Lightning, both on and off the ice. It's an overall mentality adjustment preached from the second-year owner, Jeff Vinik, after he purchased the team from the warring duo of Oren Koules (most famous as the producer of the "Saw" franchise) and Len Barrie, both of whom disagreed on just about everything having to do with the team, including whether or not to trade longtime team superstar Vinny Lecavalier to the Montreal Canadiens. Their in-fighting spread into the locker room and onto the ice, so when Vinik seized control of the team, he was determined to clean up all the venom left behind.

The first season of Vinik's tenure, 2010–2011, included a surprise run deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, barely losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Eager to capitalize on this newfound sense of camaraderie and euphoria, 2011–2012 was determined to be the season of no return.

First and foremost, their logo and colors have changed from the old black, dark blue, and white of the last 19 seasons (though the logo went through some retooling throughout that timeframe) to bright blue and white with a cleaner-looking, wordless logo. Then, the Forum was scheduled for an overdue facelift, with the main additions discussed later in this review. And lastly, to coincide with the renaming of its naming rights holder, the St. Pete Times Forum (née Ice Palace) was no more, now replaced by the Tampa Bay Times Forum on January 1, 2012.

The King is dead. Long live the King!

In a Galaxy Not Far, Far Away...

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

A Not so long time ago, in a galaxy not far, far away, the year was 1996. Los Angeles, one of the most storied sports towns in the United States, was granted one of the ten charter franchises of Major League Soccer.

While the first fans may remember the Galaxy playing at the Rose Bowl, the team moved to a more modern $150 million facility in 2003. The capacity dropped from over 100,000 to a much more intimate 27,000. The fans responded positively, and the Home Depot Center has been filled ever since.

The stadium is located on the California State University, Dominguez Hills campus in Carson, CA. It is approximately 10 miles south of downtown Los Angeles and easily accessible from the 405 or 91 freeways. If Carson doesn’t ring a bell, you may recognize it as the setting for movies such as “The Cable Guy,” and “Gone in 60 Seconds.” While the name leads one to believe otherwise, the television show “Reno 911” is also filmed here and Carson was even the location of the “Hey Mickey” music video long before the MLS was ever created.

It is said that the Galaxy derived it nickname from Los Angeles, being the home of the stars. Clearly, this was a much better choice than being home to the traffic or smog.

A.J. Palumbo Center-Home of the Duquesne Dukes

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

Duquesne plays basketball in the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. The Palumbo Center is located just 2 blocks from the CONSOL Energy Center. It was built in 1988 and holds 4,046. The most recent renovation was just finished in 2010. The A.J. Palumbo Center has a unique design with some odd sightlines. The main overhead scoreboard does not have enough room for stats, so small scoreboards are located in each corner of the arena. The corner scoreboards then rotate between the score and various stats such as points and foul totals.

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Local Food & Drink

Milano’s Pizza  (map it!)

3615 Fifth Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

(412) 681-2858

http://pizzamilano.net/

Red Ring Restaurant  (map it!)

1015 Forbes Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(412) 396-3550

http://redringrestaurant.com/

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Cambria Suites  (map it!)

1320 Centre Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(412) 381-6687

http://www.cambriasuitespittsburgh.com/

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