Sandpit’s impact for Long Beach State Athletics

By: Sebastian Grewal and Jason Garcia

The Sandpit is a student-created and led seating section made to help increase student involvement. Students will be able to embrace campus life thanks to athletics.

Assistant Athletics Director, Rich Loza, refers to it as a mission to bring the students together at Long Beach State’s sporting events.

“Students are showing up to the game. Some of them would sit in the corner over here and there,” Loza said.

The Sandpit was the driving force of record-breaking attendance Long Beach State experienced in 2022.

“One of our men’s basketball games, we had the highest student attendance since 2016, with over 1,300 students attending that game,” said Associate Director of Marketing, Juliana Hernandez.

According to LBSU athletics, 10,200 fans have attended the first five women’s volleyball home games this season.

The Sandpit school’s athletics social media promote giveaways, themed nights and a designated seating section.

The Sandpit’s has a goal to support the schools’ sporting events to try and unify student participation, while creating a fun atmosphere.

Loza encourages students to attend games while they can and have no regrets after graduation.

“‘I wish I would have gone to more events’ because when they think about it, those are the things that come to mind,” Loza said. “Those are the first memories they have…I was there for this game. That’s a historical game for our school.”

Loza emphasizes how Long Beach is a unique, special spot that everyone takes pride in.

According to Loza, the Sandpit is currently working with Beach XP – an initiative designed to help first-year students – Long Beach ASI and the university dorms to embrace school athletics.

According to Hernandez, Nick Toral will be the new student co-leader of The Sandpit, while the other student leader position will be filled later in the year.

Toral is a Sophomore Civil Engineering major and is in his first semester as a leader of the Sandpit. He wants to bring awareness to Long Beach State sports.

“You just spent the whole week in class and you’re looking for something fun to do. What’s better than watching your own school play?” Toral said.

With a formal presence inside Walter Pyramid, students boost athlete’s morale when playing.

Long Beach State athletic events are free to students who present their student ID.

“It’s one thing to make the games as fun as possible for the students that attend, but it’s also for the athletes,” Toral said. “They play a lot better, they play a lot harder when they [get] a big crowd of fans behind them.”

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