The first sporting event at the renovated Pauley Pavilion will be held tonight, when UCLA takes on Indiana State in a men's
"This event is more than just a game; it's a celebration for the building, our athletic program and the entire UCLA campus," athletic director Dan Guerrero said.
A "First Ticket Ceremony" will be held at the building's North Plaza at approximately 6:10 p.m., with speeches by Chancellor Gene Block, Guerrero and members of the families of Edwin W. Pauley, after whom the venue is named, and of the late legendary Bruin basketball coach John Wooden.
Following the speeches, the speakers, several UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame members and athletes representing each of the five teams that compete at Pauley Pavilion will enter the arena.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with UCLA officials advising fans to be in their seats by 7:30 p.m. for a grand opening ceremony on the court. The game is sold out.
The renovations took 33 months to complete and cost just under $136 million, according to figures provided by the university. They increased Pauley Pavilion's capacity by 1,000 to approximately 13,800 and established 70,000 additional square feet of usable space than existed in the building's previous configuration. Additions include two locker rooms and adjacent lounge areas, a 24-seat film room, weight room and a sports medicine room.
Other key features are a custom-designed video board, additional LED "hustle" boards that track player statistics, a 154 percent increase in restrooms, including on the event level, a wider variety of concession stands -- including California Pizza Kitchen, Subway, Full Court Press Panini, Jamba Juice, Pavilion Market and Joe Brewin Coffee Stand -- and a team store. The north side includes a lobby highlighting the theme, "Champions Made Here," and the multi-purpose Pavilion Club for game-day hospitality. The arena includes nearly 100 monitors, many of which will be used to show the game telecast. Other monitors can be used as menu boards.
"Pauley is just tremendous," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "The transformation from the old Pauley to the new Pauley is really, really special. It's a modern day, beautiful arena, but still captured the tradition and history of what's happened there in the past. I think the university did an unbelievable job in the renovation."
The game will be the Bruins' first at Pauley Pavilion since Feb. 26, 2011 when they defeated then-10th-ranked Arizona 71-49. UCLA played 14 of its home games last season at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, adjacent to the campus of arch-rival USC, and four at Honda Center in Anaheim.
Only two Bruin players have played at Pauley Pavilion -- center Joshua Smith and guard Tyler Lamb, who is questionable for tonight's game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Oct. 9.
Indiana State was chosen as tonight's opponent because Wooden coached there in the 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons immediately before his 27-season stint
as UCLA's coach. He guided the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in his final 12 seasons, including an unprecedented seven in a row from 1967 to 1973.
Pauley Pavilion opened in 1965. It is named for the late oilman and University of California Regent Edwin W. Pauley, the principal donor to its building fund.