Walter Pyramid – Long Beach State Beach
Photos by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Walter Pyramid 1250 Bellflower Blvd Long Beach, CA 90840
Year Opened: 1994
25 Years Under the Pyramid
Opened for business in 1994, the Walter Pyramid, or as locals affectionately call it, The Pyramid, has become as much an iconic sight in Long Beach as The Queen Mary. OK… that may be a stretch. Celebrating 25 years of operation, it is one of four pyramid buildings in the U.S. along with others in Las Vegas, Memphis, and San Diego. In addition to hosting Long Beach State athletics, it was also the home of the NBA Summer Pro League from 1995 to 2007. When seen from a distance, when you see the sight of a blue shaped pyramid, there’s no mistaking where you are.
Food & Beverage 3
Dining options are your standard venue fare of hot/chili dogs, hamburger, cheeseburger and chicken sandwiches from $5.50 to $10.50, chips, peanuts, cracker jacks assorted candy and popcorn from $3.50 to $4, kettle corn $5-$7, $frozen treats $3.75 to $5, regular and bottled coke products from $3 to $5 for a souvenir cup, $4 for coffee and hot chocolate, domestic and premium beer from $9-$11.
Watching a game at The Pyramid is one of the more unique experiences in college sports due in large part to its unique setup, given its status as one of four pyramids in the country. Long Beach State does a nice job of displaying their athletic program’s feats throughout the arena with murals along the concourses featuring famous Long Beach State alumnus.
The seats are placed on movable sections supported by hydraulics, giving fans the chance to create a louder atmosphere as they can stomp their feet on the metal panels. With a capacity of just over 4,000 seats the inside of The Pyramid, while feeling rather cavernous, is rather intimate with no seat being too far away from the action.
The area surrounding the campus of Long Beach State does not really offer much in terms of pre/postgame dining and entertainment. However, The Pike is where the major attractions such as The Queen Mary, Aquarium of The Pacific (one of my favorite Long Beach attractions) and dining options such as CPK, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Q Smokehouse are among the local dining options.
Should you happen to have some time to kill before the game and find yourself in The Pike, I highly recommend The Aquarium of The Pacific. One of my favorite things to do at The Aquarium is the touch tanks where you get to pet little baby sharks and rays.
With a program that’s currently struggling, the crowds are sparse. Those that do show do their best to back the LBC.
Because of the program’s current struggles, the presence of students in the stands is also lacking. Those that do show up in the student section are mostly made up of families and kids.
In an area where there are countless pro and collegiate programs, getting the stands filled even close to capacity can be a struggle.
Arriving to the arena should not be too difficult as it is easily accessible from the 405 freeway and Pacific Coast Highway. Should you decide to use public transit, the Long Beach Transit offers service from downtown LB, with routes 91 and 94 taking passengers inside campus leaving them a short walk away from the arena.
When entering the arena, most fans walk up a flight of stairs through an upper concourse that encircles the entire arena. The concourses here at The Pyramid may be some of the widest concourses you will find yourself walking through in any of your indoor arena visits. One of the nice things about the concourse here is that you can walk all the way around and not miss any of the action happening on the court.
Return on Investment 4
Ticket prices to see Long Beach State basketball start at $12 and vary based on seat location and level of game. With every seat close to the action Long Beach State games are a good bargain and a great alternative for the locals who don’t want to travel all the way to Los Angeles to see a basketball game in a nice intimate venue.
One of the nice things about walking around The Pyramid aside from the ability to walk around the wide concourses without missing any of the action on the floor are the various murals and quotes from past Long Beach State athletes who would go on to stardom, among them Lucious Harris, Craig Hodges, and quotes from recent MLB stars Evan Longoria, Troy Tulowitzki and of course Jared Weaver.
Along the west concourse is the school’s Hall of Fame display that also include former 49er and UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian. Next to the HOF display is a kids play area where kids can get in some mini hoops action away from the hoops action on the court.
At the south end of The Pyramid is a good-sized LED video board that not only displays game stats but shows highlights and other game related action as well. The size and display of the board are so impressive it’s comparable to those used in NBA venues.
It would be very difficult to miss the location of The Walter Pyramid while on campus. One only has to look toward a blue pyramid shaped building and walk toward it.
A basketball game inside The Walter Pyramid is one you should experience. It’s not often you can say that you viewed a sporting event under a pyramid-shaped building.
At 25 years of service, The Pyramid has housed its share of high caliber athletes. The Pyramid was also the host to the Southern California Summer Pro League during its inaugural year until 2007, hosting NBA teams with their first and second round draft picks as well as other pro summer league teams. It was at The Pyramid where during the summer of 1996 a budding star named Kobe Bryant would make his professional debut.