Renowned by sportscasters, portrayed as a phenomenon by local media, and feared by opposing players accross the country, the Oakland Zoo is the loyal student section of Pitt Basketball and the reason the Petersen Events Center is regarded as the toughest place to play in the Big East, if not the country.

Founded in 2001 at the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse, the Zoo now consists of 1200 lower bowl and 200 upper level general admission seats of the Petersen Events Center, located on Pitt’s upper campus.

In order to ensure a good seat selection, it is not uncommon for students to arrive several hours before tip-off on game day. In extreme cases, students have gone so far as to begin lining up the day before a game, such as in 2009 when then #3 Pitt played (and beat) then #1 Connecticut.

In addition to being heralded for its loyalty and intensity, the Zoo takes pride in its reputation, striving to mirror the standards of professionalism and pride set by the University of Pittsburgh. Due to this, the Zoo receives constant praise for the class and poise it exhibits during every game.

As the largest student organization on Pitt’s campus, the Zoo sees a responsibility to give back to the city of Pittsburgh, and does so by holding charitable events and sponsoring various health awareness games throughout the season.
The Oakland Zoo is Panther Pride at its finest.



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