The Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion is the home of the University of California Golden Bears men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball, and men's and women's gymnastics teams. The arena is located in the middle of the main University of California sports complex, overlooking Evans Diamond (baseball) and Edwards Stadium (track/soccer).
Pete Newell Court
The exterior of Haas Pavilion, 2008
|Former names||Men's Gym (1933–1959)|
Harmon Gym (1959–1997)
|Location||14 Frank Schlessinger Way|
Berkeley, CA 94720
|Public transit||Downtown Berkeley|
|Owner||University of California, Berkeley|
|Operator||University of California, Berkeley|
|Broke ground||November 1931|
|Opened||January 13, 1933|
|Construction cost||$727,500 (original)|
($14.1 million in 2018 dollars)
$57.5 million (renovation)
($86.5 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||George W. Kelham (Original)|
Ellerbe Becket (Renovation)
|General contractor||Schuler & McDonald|
|California Golden Bears (NCAA) (1933–1997, 1999–present)|
The arena was originally built in 1933 as the Men's Gym. It was renamed Harmon Gym in 1959, after Oakland financier A.K.P. Harmon, who donated the funds to build Cal's first indoor athletic facility in 1879. Lou Campanelli tried to have it renamed "Harmon Arena" when he became coach, but it never really caught on. The playing surface, after being known as simply "Room 100" since the arena opened, was renamed Pete Newell Court in 1987 in honor of Pete Newell, who led Cal to the national championship in 1959.
Proposals for replacing the old gym were bandied about from the 1970s onward, but sentiment was strongly in favor of rebuilding it instead. As a result, the arena was heavily renovated from 1997 to 1999 after a donation of about $11 million from Walter A. Haas, Jr. of Levi Strauss & Co., building a new seating bowl within the existing walls.
The new facility retains the intimate atmosphere of its predecessor, while having almost two times the seating capacity at 11,858 (originally 12,300 and later 11,877). In particular, there are no soundproofing devices. The arena contains The Bench, a courtside section that holds approximately 900 student fans. The amount of student seating doubled from the old arena, up to 2,600 from 1,300. It also holds the Pacific-10 Women's Basketball attendance record of 10,525 people, set during a game against rival Stanford University on February 23, 2008.
The renovation, which cost $57.5 million, began after the final home game in March 1997 and was finished for the start of the 1999 season. During the construction, the basketball teams played at both the Kaiser Convention Center and the Oakland Arena (now Oracle Arena) in Oakland.
On December 22, 2018, the 14th ranked California Bears Women's basketball team faced the number 1 ranked University of Connecticut Huskies Women's basketball team. The Connecticut women's basketball team prevailed 76-66 at Haas Pavilion. The game set attendance records at Haas Pavilion with over 10,000 fans in attendance.
The 2009 men's basketball game between Cal and arch rival Stanford on February 14 was part of a special celebration commemorating the 100th season of Golden Bear basketball, as well as a recognition of the 50th anniversary of Cal's national title in 1959.
On February 28, 2009 ESPN's College Gameday made its first appearance in Berkeley broadcasting live from inside Haas Pavilion for the men's basketball game against the #18 UCLA Bruins. Cal lost despite a large turnout.
On January 21, 2009 Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area's Chronicle Live filmed their show inside Haas for the men's basketball game against Oregon, which Cal would win. Chronicle Live Host Greg Papa also called the play-by-play for the game which was televised on Comcast Sportsnet California.
- "Harmon Gym". California Athletics. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "Open Bids for New Gymnasium at UC". Berkeley Daily Gazette. November 7, 1931. p. 1. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Former Great Darrall Imhoff to Have No. 40 Jersey Retired". California Athletics. January 13, 2009. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.