Nell and John Wooden Court
The inside of Pauley Pavilion with the new center circle and scoreboards in January 2013
|Full name||Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion|
|Address||301 Westwood Plaza|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Owner||The Regents of the University of California|
|Operator||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Broke ground||January 1964|
|Opened||June 11, 1965|
|Construction cost||$5 million (original construction - 1965)|
$136 million (renovation - 2012)
|Architect||Welton Becket (original construction - 1965)|
NBBJ (renovation - 2012)
|Structural engineer||Richard R. Bradshaw, Inc.|
|General contractor||Miller-Davis Company|
|UCLA Bruins (NCAA) (1965-present)|
Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, commonly known as Pauley Pavilion, is an indoor arena located in the Westwood Village district of Los Angeles, California, on the campus of UCLA. It is home to the UCLA Bruins men's and women's basketball teams. The men's and women's volleyball and women's gymnastics teams also compete here.
The building, designed by architect Welton Becket, was dedicated in June 1965, named for University of California Regent Edwin W. Pauley, who had matched the alumni contributions. Pauley donated almost one fifth of the more than $5 million spent in constructing the arena. The arena was renovated in 2010-12 and was reopened on November 9, 2012 when it hosted a men's basketball game against Indiana State.
Pauley Pavilion contains 11,307 permanent theater-style upholstered seats, plus retractable seats for 2,492 spectators (466 seats without backs used by the band and students), making a total basketball capacity of 13,800. The capacity prior to the renovation (12,829) had been exceeded several times for several men's basketball games by adding portable seating alongside the retractable seats. The Bruins reopened the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion on November 9, 2012 in front of a record crowd of 13,513. Then a new record was set when 13,727 fans watched the Bruins defeat the Arizona Wildcats 74-69 on March 2, 2013.
When the floor seats are retracted, there is space for three full-sized basketball courts. These courts are used for team practice, intramural games, and pickup basketball games. It can also serve as a convention hall or large dining area when in this configuration.
When used for men's volleyball, the basketball court is striped with colored tape. The volleyball net is erected at the half court line. The women's team uses blue and yellow Sport Court lined up perpendicularly to the basketball court tucked up to the east end of the court.
There is a tunnel on the south side through which trucks and service vehicles may enter. This is also the "backstage" entrance for players, performers, and broadcast personnel.
The floor is called "Nell and John Wooden Court" in honor of former UCLA Men's Basketball Coach John Wooden and his wife Nell.
From the opening of the building until 1987, the extra press not involved in the radio or television broadcasts sat behind the south side (team bench side) press table. The working press then moved to sit courtside at "press row" on the northern side of the court, as the south courtside seats were opened up to influential and affluent boosters. In 2003, the UCLA Athletic Department made available north side courtside seats to affluent donors. The media now sit higher up in permanent seating dead-center in the north side of the bleachers. The press move to the north side in 1987 was as controversial as the 2003 move, in that the student section was now behind the press table and big donors had taken the south side courtside seats.
The student section has moved several times as well. Since 2003, the student section of 1,750 seats occupies the north side bleachers.
The UCLA Varsity Band has also moved to accommodate seating changes. Originally, they were located on the north courtside directly across from the UCLA bench. In 1984, they moved to the northeast corner courtside. In 1990 they moved to the north courtside directly across from the visitors bench. In 1996 they moved to the north side above the student section. In 2003, they moved to the west side of the arena to be courtside.
Before the construction of the Pavilion, the on-campus home to the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team was the 2,400-seat Men's Gym, currently known as the Student Activities Center, but then disparagingly known as the "B. O. barn." After John Wooden led the Bruins to the national championship in 1964, fans and Wooden felt that a more suitable arena needed to be constructed. However, it had been obvious even before then that the Bruins needed a new arena; since 1955 the Men's Gym's capacity had been limited to 1,500 by order of the Los Angeles fire marshal. Games that were expected to attract larger crowds were played at Pan Pacific Auditorium, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and other venues around Los Angeles.
Pauley Pavilion was constructed so that there would be some space between the crowds and the action on the court. Wooden cited the example of the close quarters of Cal's Harmon Gym (now Haas Pavilion) where fans would "pull leg hairs from his players' legs". Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, was recruited to UCLA partly on the promise of playing in the new arena.
The place was the venue for the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. It started from 1991 and 1993, then 1998 and 1999, then the show hosted at Pauley for more than 2 years, starting from 2004-2010. When renovations began in 2011, the show was moved to the Galen Center. The show was hosted for the last time at Pauley on March 27, 2010. Then from 2014-2017, the place became a venue for the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards, a spin-off to the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
The only championship banners that are currently displayed within the building are for national or NCAA Championships. Unlike most schools, there are neither conference championship banners nor other tournament championship banners displayed in the building, despite the fact UCLA teams have won many tournaments and basketball championships in the Pac-12 Conference and its predecessor conferences. Former Bruin point guard, New Jersey Nets, LA native and former Los Angeles Lakers player Jordan Farmar described the rationale for this during the Bruins' 2005 Final Four run, by stating, "[a]t UCLA, only national championship banners go up." The men's banners are blue with gold lettering, while the women's banners are gold with blue lettering.
In 1985 UCLA won the NIT and promptly hung an NIT championship banner among the 10 existing NCAA championship banners. This banner remained in the rafters until 1995, when the Bruins won the NCAA title again and replaced the NIT banner with their 11th NCAA championship banner. During the 2012 renovation, replicas were created for some of the older banners, which were different sizes. The original banners were then sold at an auction.
There is one banner for the women's basketball AIAW championship in 1978. There are 11 individual banners for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship teams. There are two banners for volleyball, one for the 19 men's NCAA volleyball championships and one for the three NCAA women's volleyball championships and three AIAW championships. There are two banners for gymnastics, one for the two men's NCAA gymnastics champions and one for the five NCAA women's gymnastics champions. The volleyball and gymnastics banners list all the years in which Bruin teams were NCAA or National champions.
The retired numbers of UCLA men's and women's basketball players are displayed in the rafters of Pauley Pavilion. On February 3, 1990, the first four UCLA basketball player jersey numbers were retired. This was the key moment in the "Pauley at 25" celebration of the first 25 years of the arena. The primary criteria for being chosen was that all four players were three-time All-Americans.
Pauley Pavilion has been the venue for many other sports championships, concerts, commencement ceremonies and political events.
Concert performers have included Bob Marley,Bad Religion, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead, Phish, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and Faith No More, among others.
In 1970, Frank Zappa appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performing Zappa's orchestral music. Zubin Mehta directed the orchestra in what would become the soundtrack for Zappa's movie 200 Motels. Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention recorded Just Another Band from L.A. at the Pauley Pavilion in 1971, and was released in 1972.
In 1984, it was the Los Angeles venue for the 1984 Summer Olympics Men's and Women's gymnastics and Women's rhythmic gymnastics events.Mary Lou Retton became the first Olympic gymnast outside of Eastern Europe ever to have won the Olympic all-around title.
Two years later in 1988, it was the site of a presidential election debate between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. Dukakis also held his final election-eve rally here, hosted by the UCLA Bruin Democrats.
On February 26, 2011, the Bruins hosted their last men's basketball home game against the Arizona Wildcats before extensive renovations were scheduled to begin. Tyler Trapani, great grandson of Coach John Wooden and member of UCLA's team, fittingly scored the last goal in the old arena. The 1971 National Champions were honored at halftime.
In 1982, the center court jump circle was replaced. It was later autographed by coach John Wooden and several former Bruins' players including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. It was acquired by a private party and consigned to a sports memorabilia auction where it sold May 1, 2011 for $325,085, the most ever paid for a piece of college basketball memorabilia.
Almost every year since its inception, the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards were held inside the arena until the renovations in 2011. It was replaced by Kids Choice Sports Awards in 2014 and been held since then.
In recent years, the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion has hosted many campus-wide events. In 2013, UCLA's annual Spring Sing organized by the Student Alumni Association was held in this arena. Bruins from all areas of campus performed on stage and truly exemplified the talent and spirit of the UCLA community. The Pediatric Aids Coalition hosts their 26-hour Dance Marathon in Pauley Pavilion as well, which raised $445,019.18 for Pediatric AIDS research in 2014, $446,157.05 in 2015, and $446,253.60 in 2016.
The court was significantly flooded after a 30-inch water main burst on Sunset Boulevard and water started spewing in on July 29, 2014.
On May 1-5, 2018, Pauley Pavilion was the host for the 2018 NCAA Men's National Collegiate Volleyball Tournament.Long Beach State defeated the Bruins in 5 sets to win its second national title since 1991.
As Pauley Pavilion was turning 40 years old, talk intensified about a possible major renovation of the facility. Narrowness of the concourses for spectators to walk around the arena, limited food services and restrooms, the lack of luxury boxes, and a floor configuration that keeps some seating sections distant from the floor have been cited by various observers as areas needing improvement.
According to a 2008 article in the UCLA Daily Bruin, "UCLA initially announced the project Jan. 11, 2007, when it hoped to have construction completed by legendary basketball coach John Wooden's 100th birthday, Oct. 14, 2010. Since that announcement, the project has moved slowly, as UCLA has sought to raise funds for the project."
The cost of the renovation was once estimated to be $110 million, but now a final estimate will await the development of the architectural plans. The Daily Bruin article also noted "a 2012 completion date is now most likely," with UCLA basketball games having to move off-campus for one year. Exterior work began in 2010, with interior construction following the 2010-2011 basketball season.
The university unveiled the Pauley Pavilion renovation plans to the public and kicked off the fund-raising campaign on May 11, 2009 at Pauley. The groundbreaking ceremony was held a year later on May 11, 2010. By that time, Wooden was in failing health and could not attend; he died three weeks later, slightly more than four months before his 100th birthday.
The last men's basketball game before Pauley was closed for renovation was UCLA's 71-49 victory over Arizona. The last basket of that game was scored by the Bruins' Tyler Trapani, Coach John Wooden's great-grandson. Controversy emerged due to the newly announced location of the student "den" section. The student section would have been moved from the traditional courtside seats to an area behind the basket. However, after action by alumni and an on-campus student vote, the proposed change was reverted.
After Pauley's closure for renovation, the 2011-12 Bruins men's basketball team played their home games off-campus at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Honda Center. Women's basketball and other Pauley Pavilion teams played at the on-campus John Wooden Center.
Pauley Pavilion was renovated and opened for the UCLA men's basketball season in 2012.