Though the Pitt baseball and softball teams have already opened competition at its new official home, the Pitt athletic department will have an opening ceremony this weekend called the First Pitch Event to help celebrate each of the four teams having a new home.
The softball team is off to a 24-8 start, and opened play in the new Vartabedian Field with a 2-1 win over Penn State on March 29. Baseball is off to a 16-11 start, but lost its first-ever game at Charles L. Cost Field 10-7 to Kent State on March 16. They rebounded with a 9-6 win over Niagara two days later.
With the weather warming up, the athletic department can finally hold a special opener in honor of the teams that will call these new facilities home. The women's soccer team will take on Canisius in a special offseason scrimmage at 11 am at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The softball team will take on Louisville at noon at Varabedian Field, followed by the baseball team will taking on Villanova at 1 pm, and the men's soccer team holding an intrasquad scrimmage at 2 pm at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
Included with the day's events, Pitt will honor the inaugural softball team of 1998, which played its first season at Pitt Stadium. There is one main entrance to all three facilities, which is adjacent to right field of the baseball stadium. Fans attending games at the new Petersen Events Center will be able to park in the nearby OC Lot. There is a gathering area right outside the gate where there are silhouette statues representing each of the four teams that will play their games here.
Seating capacity at Charles L. Cost Field for baseball games is 900, 735 at the Ambrose Urbanic Field for soccer and 600 for Vartabedian Field for softball. Vartabedian Field is closest to Pittsburgh's downtown. The complex is joined by a support building, which houses locker rooms for all four teams, as well as an equipment room and a training room.
The surface at the Charles L. Cost Field is completely FieldTurf Classic. There is no dirt on the surface with the exception of the pitching mound. The dirt areas of the baseball field have a brown color similar to the dirt on a regular field. The surface is comparable to that of Tropicana Field for the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays. There's also an indoor batting cage on the left field side that players will be able to access at any time.
Dimensions at the Charles L. Cost Field are 330 feet down the left and right field lines, 375 feet down the power alleys and 405 feet to center field.
The surface at Ambrose Urbanic Field is called a FieldTurf Duraspine, similar to surfaces at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts and Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington, home of the New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders FC, both of the MLS. The field is FIFA certified. Dimensions are 76 yards wide, 120 yards long.
Vartabedian Field is also a FieldTurf Classic, but has a natural dirt surface on the infield. Dimensions are 200 feet symmetrically around the outfield.