UCLA will play its 2012 football home opener against Nebraska at the Rose Bowl today with construction efforts remaining underway, particularly on the west end, where portable restrooms have been installed.
Since the conclusion of the 2012 Rose Bowl Game, four tunnels in the stadium's north end have been widened to ease entrance and exit from the stadium. New aisles and handrails have also been added in the north end.
The shell of a new Pavilion, four times the size of the previous facility, has been completed on the stadium's west side. Several levels of the Pavilion, including 26 suites, 300 club seats, donor areas, broadcast booths and working media areas are ready for use this season. The entire facility will be completed before the start of the 2013 season.
Further improvements are expected following this season, including field-level exiting.
The improvements are intended to improve the fan experience, enhance public safety and create new revenue sources to fund continued improvements and upgrades to the stadium which opened in 1922.
A crowd of about 60,000 is expected, including 10,000-15,000 Nebraska fans who purchased tickets through their school. The Cornhuskers will be playing at the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 2002 Rose Bowl Game, which served as the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
The game will mark Jim Mora's Rose Bowl debut as UCLA coach. The Bruins opened the season with a 49-24 victory at Rice Aug. 30.
James McAlister will be the Bruins' honorary captain. McAlister was a UCLA running back in the 1972 and 1973 seasons, teaming with Kermit Johnson to form one of the most potent backfields in school history and helping key one of the biggest victories in UCLA history, a 20-17 triumph over Nebraska on Sept. 9, 1972 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which ended the two-time defending national champion Cornhuskers' 32-game unbeaten streak.
Members of the 1972 Bruins team will be introduced during a quarter break. Members of the 1961 UCLA team, which won the championship of what is now the Pacific-12 Conference and played in the 1962 Rose Bowl, will be introduced at halftime.
The first 10,000 fans wearing blue entering the stadium will receive a 2012 UCLA football poster. A fireworks show will follow the game.