Long Beach State Homecoming is a time where students and alumni alike gather to commemorate the memories and relationships they have built at the university.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Walter Pyramid, the home court for the day’s main attraction. The Nov. 9 celebration will host a double-header of women’s and men’s basketball games.
“They just started it about eight to 10 years ago, and I think it’s been a huge addition because this is known as a commuter school, but it’s the one day people come back and get together with their friends and see people they haven’t all year,” men’s basketball head coach Dan Monson said. “It’s the best crowd of the year and the best atmosphere we have all year.”
Long Beach State Athletics decided a change in scenery for this year’s festivities, with the all-day event being held inside the Pyramid.
The decision puts the Pyramid at the center of the event, making for a dynamic that gives fans plenty of entertainment, while also building support from fans for each team.
“Ever since my freshman year here, the environment has been really good on Homecoming,” junior forward Jordan Roberts said. “They give us a little more static in the locker room, seeing that people are actually behind us, supporting us. We’re coming out expecting to go hard for that [game].”
Homecoming also gives fans the opportunity to try food and drinks from local vendors that are catering the event. The activities make the time between the games more fun while also celebrating the Pyramid and its history.
“Being a part of it last year was really crazy,” junior guard Drew Cobb said. “Just seeing all the fans here, they’re all really anxious to see what we can do. We’re really excited to get out there and have some fun and get a win.”
Most schools center the event around its football team, but the football-less Long Beach State has chosen a different popular sport to fill its place.
“Everyone’s going to be here and it’s going to be exciting,” senior guard Jordan Griffin said. “This is probably going to be the most packed it’s been pretty much all season.”
The women’s basketball team matches up against Westcliff at 1 p.m., and the men’s team plays the University of San Diego at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s actually going to be really competitive,” Griffin said. “It’s going to be an intense game, so we have to be ready for it, ready to battle. We’re playing a pretty good team that we lost to last year…it’s [going to be] a dogfight this time.”
Long Beach State Athletics struggles with attendance due to the fact that a majority of its students commute from neighboring cities. The move inside the Pyramid is targeted to help gather alumni and students.
As a commuter school, athletics is looking to build a growing fanbase.
“Watching sports on TV is great and all, but seeing it in person in [the] Pyramid is something,” said Jonathan Lee, a sophomore computer science major.