UCLA students have spoken, and they will again be seated courtside when renovated Pauley Pavilion reopens for the 2012-13 basketball season.
Students weighed in on the seating issue last week during a vote conducted as part of undergraduate student elections, and UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero made the official announcement Tuesday. Approximately 900 seats will be available to students along the sidelines and immediately behind one basket, with 800 to 900 additional seats reserved for students in the upper deck behind that same basket.
In earlier meetings with the athletic department, student groups had indicated a desire to form a unified student cheering section behind one basket, and that became the plan. However, last week's vote overwhelmingly rejected that approach.
Placing students in the best seats in the house has long been the tradition at some schools, but it often represents a tradeoff between creating a home-court advantage and securing premium ticket prices. According to the Los Angeles Times, the sideline seats occupied by students could have commanded as much as $1,198 per seat plus a $3,200 donation to the athletic department.
Still, athletics officials expressed no regrets. Said Guerrero in a statement, "This process reconfirms the tremendous passion that exists on campus surrounding our intercollegiate athletic events."