Sports, Women's Sports

Women’s basketball game forced to relocate to the Gold Mine

It was announced Thursday morning that the Long Beach State women’s basketball game would be forced to move to the school’s former home gym, the Gold Mine. The game against Cal State Bakersfield would mark the first game this school year required to shift venues.

The Gold Mine, located in the Kinesiology building, served as the primary home gym from the late 1950s through the early 1990s, will once again be called to service because of leaks in The Walter Pyramid in the interest of student-athlete safety.

As previously reported, LBSU athletics is looking at repairs for the leaking roof of The Walter Pyramid to be an estimated $55 million. Executive director of athletics Bobby Smitheran has expressed his desire not to tear the Pyramid down but has noted the cost would not be a smart financial investment.

Last school year due to the extensive amount of rain in Southern California, as many as three games were forced to make the move. This prompts the question of just how many games inside the Gold Mine may we see this year.

“In regards to future games, the Walter Pyramid is still our preferred location so venue decisions will be made on a day-to-day basis,” associate athletics director of communications and broadcast Roger Kirk said.

The weekend slate of games for LBSU athletics does not slow down as it instead ramps up. Starting with a men’s volleyball match on Friday night, ahead of a Saturday double-header with “ASI Night” at the men’s basketball game before an additional men’s volleyball match in the nightcap.

Not to mention, brighter skies may not be ahead both figuratively and literally for The Beach. Another heavy rain storm is expected to hit the Long Beach area starting Sunday and lasting through Tuesday, with rain again expected to hit once more next Friday.

The rainy forecast may pose a threat for LBSU, specifically with No. 1 men’s volleyball’s colossal matchup with No. 5 UCLA just on the horizon scheduled for Friday, Feb. 9, at The Walter Pyramid.

The average attendance of LBSU’s women’s basketball games this season has only been 854 per game, while the average for men’s volleyball sits at 1,596. With a popular opponent like rival UCLA visiting, the Pyramid’s availability will be critical as it’s expected to be among the highest attended and will generate significant revenue.

For Long Beach State, the consensus understanding surrounding the Gold Mine is that it offers the school flexibility when it comes to relocating games rather than rescheduling them. That said, everyone is well aware that the venue is unsuitable long-term for hosting Division I sporting events.

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