The Home of Harvard Men's and Women's Basketball
- Indoor basketball court
- Lounge area overlooking the court
- Men's and Women's Basketball coaches' offices
- Courtside seating
- Seating capacity 2,195
Harvard's refurbished and rededicated arena for men's and women's basketball - The Ray Lavietes '36 Pavilion, formerly called the Briggs Athletic Center - stands among the most historic venues in the sport.
First opened in 1926, it stands as the second-oldest building used for basketball among Division I schools. Only Fordham's Rose Hill Gymnasium (1924) is older.
Originally, the Briggs Center (Lavietes Pavilion) housed Harvard's indoor track teams. It featured a second-floor running track preferred by many of the greats of the day and also served as a favorite batting cage for Crimson baseball players and even major leaguers like Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams. Briggs quickly became an important part of Harvard's entire athletic program, as other sports used the building as an off-season training center.
The construction of the Gordon Track and Tennis Center in 1981 meant that the indoor track squads would be moving to their own facility, making Briggs a prime location for the new home of the school's basketball teams. Until that time, basketball was played at the Indoor Athletic Building - now the Malkin Athletic Center - on the Cambridge side of the river.
The facility honors both Ray Lavietes '36 and LeBaron Russell Briggs. Lavietes, a two-year letterman for the basketball team, has long supported Harvard and its athletic program, and his generosity inspired a $2.1 million refurbishing project that was completed prior to the 1995-96 season. The result was a new lobby with trophy cases and indoor ticket windows; new locker rooms, team rooms, and coaching offices for both the men and the women; an on-site training room; a beautiful second-floor lounge that overlooks the court and the Charles River; and a media room. To request use of the Lavietes Lounge, please download the Facility Request Form and return it to: Harvard Athletic Dept, Athletic Operations, 65 N. Harvard Street, Boston, MA 02163 two weeks prior to the event date requested.
Briggs served as the Dean of Harvard College from 1891 through 1902, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1902 until 1925, and Chairman of the Committee of Regulation of Athletic Sports for 17 years. Acclaimed for his efforts at improving sportsmanship, he later became President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Lavietes Pavilion has a seating capacity of 2,195. The first Harvard basketball game played there was a women's contest against the University of Chicago on November 26, 1982, as part of the Harvard Invitational. The men played their first game at Lavietes the following day, facing M.I.T. and defeating the Engineers by an 83-58 count.
The building was first dedicated for basketball preceding the
men's game with Stanford University on December 21, 1982. Lavietes
Pavilion was officially dedicated, and Ray Lavietes honored, on
March 2, 1996, prior to the men's 87-67 win over Yale.
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