With Pauley Pavilion’s construction apparently going smoothly, people on campus and off are excited for UCLA’s 2012-13 basketball season, partly because of our monster recruiting class and partly because we’re giddy over the prospect of a renovated Pauley Pavilion.
But some grouchy old men (as opposed to very delightful, nice old men) have gripes with that. And, as a certain cohort of grouchy old men are wont to do, they’ve decided to take all quotes and the entire story out of context to justify their desire to tear down the house that Coach John Wooden built. Check it:
They tore down Yankee Stadium. Literally tore down the House that Ruth Built. If the Yankees can tear down the place where the symbol of Americana and American sports around the world [...] how the hell do you justify calling Pauley Pavilion a building that can’t be touched?!
And what’s worse is that they admit, word for word, that all they did (other than the badly needed infrastructure improvements) was add a glass casing around the building.
Excuse me while I urinate from laughing so hard.
Where do I start here?
First, let’s get something straight: Pauley Pavilion is really damn historic; UCLA is both a progressive institution that also champions its history, refusing to disregard where they came from while attempting to move forward. Tearing down Pauley Pavilion is a pretty stupid idea; as a transfer student at UCLA who is currently in his first year in Westwood, I would have been damned if I didn’t get to step foot in the same arena that the greatest coach in all of sports history once coached in. And I’ll be damned if all the other kids who love UCLA basketball and understand the significance of Coach Wooden don’t get the same opportunity. Pauley Pavilion isn’t Yankee Stadium, because the greatest coach in sports history didn’t go through New York. I don’t see how you can justify tearing down Pauley.
Second, we’re glad that these guys took things way out of context (again; this is nothing new, coming from that website). And by “we’re glad” we mean that it gave us something to laugh about. To say that UCLA has spent $140 million to encase Pauley in glass is very ballsy, kind of stupid, and horribly inaccurate. Please read the whole article, you guys:
“One thing you’ll see that is different about Pauley Pavilion is that, in Coach Wooden’s days, the court was offset about 10 feet to the east so that we could run a frosh/soph court,” Weiner said. “We’re now going to center the court and bring out the seats in the east and west bleachers. There won’t be a 35-foot gap like we had in the past.” With 400 seats added to the floor level and 600 added to the upper level, seating capacity in the new Pauley will increase from 12,800 to 13,800, he said.
There will, of course, be a brand-new speaker system, a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, a 30-inch LED message system that will wind its way around the soffit and “hustle boards” (stat boards) located in the corners of the arena.
“The soffit is engineered in a way that’s sort of three-tiered,” Weiner explained. “One of the things that the coaches were always telling us was that they don’t hear the noise enough down there [on the court]. So now, as people get excited and start yelling at the top, that noise is going to bounce off the top and be deflected down to the bottom. But if we have a concert in here, the concert noise goes up and dies into an acoustic wall in the back.”
Well, that sounds a little more than encasing the damn thing in glass. If you read the drivel at BN, you’ve probably come to the wrong conclusion that Pauley’s interior will be untouched while some glass is placed over it. (Although, clever little wannabe politicians they are, they’ll tell you they never said that.)
“But wait,” you tell me. “That’s it? That’s all we’re getting for $140 million? BN SAYS YOU’RE LYING.”
Read on, wise guy:
An additional 50,000 square feet of space has been built underground to provide amenities that Pauley lacked, including a players’ lounge, equipment room, film room, weight room, trainers’ room and officials’ locker room. There will be a media room where basketball coaches Ben Howland and Cori Close will give their post-game interviews and where reporters can file their stories. A members-only Pavilion Club (capacity: 350) will feature three large-screen TVs and a bar, making it the only place in the building to serve alcohol.
Oh, you mean there’s more resources for the players and coaches to utilize in addition to adding in amenities for the media, while also giving donors another sexy-as-hell venue to watch their Bruins kick ass? Guess some people forgot to mention that. (Whoops!)
There’s also a ton of other neat things UCLA is adding to make Pauley Pavilion’s entrances look gorgeous and historic. You get the tradition and basic framework of Pauley with the look and feel of a state-of-the-art arena.
We know why some of you might want to use Pauley’s renovation as a reason to be angry: To fire Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. And while I totally agree with you on that position, dear reader, there are a dozen other reasons to want Guerrero gone as his contract runs up on March 31, 2013.
There should be no reason to stray from tradition as long as we keep progressing. Hopefully, some might realize the take-home message here.
(Your turn, reader. Let us know in the poll below: Should Pauley Pavilion be torn down?)