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Pauley Pavilion
Nell and John Wooden Court
Pauley Pavilion 2013.JPG
The inside of the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion with the new center circle and scoreboards on January 2013
Full name Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion
Location 301 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Owner The Regents of the University of California
Operator University of California, Los Angeles
Capacity 12,829 (1965-2011)
13,800 (2012-present)[1][2]
Opened June 1965
Construction cost

$5 million (Original Construction-1965)

$136 million (Renovation-2012)[3]

Welton Becket (Original Construction-1965)

NBBJ (Renovation-2012)
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,[4] 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 $5,000,000 spent in building 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.


Men's Basketball game at Pauley Pavilion on 1/8/05 when UCLA came from 22 down to upset Washington.

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.

UCLA Men's Basketball seating[edit]

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.



North side of Pauley Pavilion prior to the 2011-12 renovation

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."[5] 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.[6] 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 building was dedicated to Regent Edwin W. Pauley, at the June 1965 commencement ceremony by UCLA Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy.
  • The facility opened for the 1965–1966 college basketball season. The first game ever played in Pauley Pavilion was on November 27, 1965. It featured the freshmen team, led by Big Lew Alcindor, against the UCLA varsity squad, the two-time defending champions and pre-season No. 1 team. The freshmen defeated the varsity team 75-60, heralding great things to come.[7]
  • Ohio State was the first visiting team in the regular season. The varsity Bruins defeated the Buckeyes in the inaugural game 92-66.
  • Pauley Pavilion hosted its first NCAA Regional Finals in the 1969 post-season. The Bruins advanced from there to win the 1969 Championship.


  • John Wooden coached what would be his final game as varsity head coach in Pauley Pavilion March 1, 1975 in a 93-59 victory over Stanford. Four weeks later he would surprisingly announce his retirement following the NCAA semi-final victory against Louisville and before his 10th National championship victory against Kentucky. The Bruins won 149 games to 2 losses at home between 1965 and 1975. Bruin men's basketball teams won 8 more NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships from 1967 through 1975 under Coach Wooden.
  • UCLA's longest winning streak in men's basketball at Pauley Pavilion was 98 games. It ended on February 21, 1976, when Oregon defeated UCLA, 65-45.
  • The 1978 AIAW Women's Basketball Championship Final Four was hosted at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA defeated the University of Maryland, College Park 90-74 to win their first Women's basketball championship in front of a crowd of 9,531.


UCLA vs. USC volleyball 2008
  • In the 1985 post-season, the Bruins hosted their first National Invitation Tournament (NIT) tournament games under coach Walt Hazzard. The Bruins won all three and advanced to the finals to win the 1985 National Invitation Tournament. In November 1985 at the intrasquad game, a banner was added in a ceremony commemorating the tournament championship. The banner was the same design as the NCAA championship banners, but slightly smaller.[8] This banner subsequently was removed to make room for the 1995 National Championship banner.
  • On June 28, 1987, John Wooden and Dean Smith coached against each other in an exhibition basketball game featuring alumni from both schools.[9]
  • In the 1989–1990 season, the building was celebrated in "25 years of Pauley". A book, Pauley Pavilion: College Basketball's Showplace by David Smale, was released commemorating the great teams that played there as well as great moments in the history of the building. The first jersey numbers of outstanding players were retired and displayed in the building (see below).


Pauley turned into the Kids' Choice Awards 2009
  • UCLA's 75th anniversary convocation on May 20, 1994: "I'm proud to be here to honor the university's 75th anniversary, and to honor your chancellor on his 25th anniversary of service," President Bill Clinton told the crowd of more than 9,000. "It is the sort of commitment our country could do with more of, and I honor it."
  • In 1995 the Bruins won their eleventh NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, this time under coach Jim Harrick.
  • On October 14, 1995, the first day of practice after UCLA won its eleventh national championship in basketball, the UCLA Men's and Women's Basketball teams held UCLA's first - and heretofore only - Midnight Madness ceremony. (In NCAA rules before the 2005 season, practices could not begin until midnight of the first day. Many schools would use this as an opportunity to build support for their teams by beginning the season publicly at the first possible minute.)


  • Former UCLA coach John Wooden and his late wife were honored on December 20, 2003 when the basketball floor at Pauley Pavilion was named "Nell & John Wooden Court." After his retirement, Coach Wooden was a fixture at UCLA Men's Basketball games until the year he died.
  • The 2001 Jeopardy! College Championship was taped at Pauley Pavilion (November 7–20, 2001). Vinita Kailasanath (Stanford University) was the winner. Jayce Newton represented UCLA.


UCLA championship banners[edit]

Pauley Pavilion, 2004 - six men's championship banners are visible

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 Pacific-12 Conference and its predecessor conferences. Former Bruin point guard, New Jersey Nets, LA native and current Los Angeles Laker 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.

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.

Retired numbers[edit]

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 twenty-five years of the arena. The primary criteria for being chosen was that all four players were three-time All-Americans.[15]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauley_Pavilion — Please support Wikipedia.
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