UCLA basketball: Students vote to reject new seating arrangement at Pauley Pavilion
In an advisory vote as part of undergraduate government elections this week, UCLA students overwhelmingly rejected the athletic department's plans to move all students behind one basket at the renovated Pauley Pavilion as part of a unified cheering section.
According to the Daily Bruin, 69% of students who voted opposed the plan, with 8% supporting the plan and 23% voicing no preference. The school newspaper reported that roughly 38% of undergraduate students participated in the voting.
In the previous configuration at Pauley Pavilion, which closed two months ago to undergo renovations, a few hundred students were allowed to sit courtside while a larger chunk was relegated to the upper reaches of the arena.
In a letter to students last week, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero wrote that "if ultimately, a return to the previously established student section is the desire, then that is what we will do." UCLA spokesman Marc Dellins said Friday that athletics officials would meet with student organizations and "get everyone on the same page and move forward," with a decision on the seating arrangement expected by the middle of next week.
Athletic officials had met with student groups before proposing a unified student section that the officials said had the support of those groups, who preferred that arrangement to a splintered student section.
Dellins said the proposal was never about generating additional revenue for the athletic department.
"The proposal to move to the unified section in the end zone was never about recapturing the courtside seating on the floor level" to sell to other UCLA fans, Dellins said. "If [going back to the previous seating configuration] is what we end up doing, that will be fine. The move wasn't proposed to generate additional income."
-- Ben Bolch
Photo: UCLA and Oregon State play their NCAA college basketball game in Pauley Pavilion as the Pauley Pavilion Renovation and Expansion construction project continues in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. Credit: Danny Moloshok / AP