The first shovelful of dirt signaled the beginning of a $136 million renovation project which will include additional seating, restrooms and concession stands for the multi-purpose facility which originally opened in 1965.
"The next chapter in the illustrious history of Pauley Pavilion begins today," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "If the building's walls could talk, they would tell the stories of thousands of students who over the last 45 years have gathered here during key moments in their UCLA experience -- from freshman welcome and graduation to intramural sports, Spring Sing and Bruin basketball, volleyball and gymnastics events. This project ensures that the legacy of Pauley Pavilion will live on in the 21st Century."
So far $65 million for renovations has been raised by a fundraising effort dubbed the Campaign of Champions, along with a construction loan that will be repaid from income generated from the renovations, and an existing fee paid by students to fund seismic and life-safety improvements to student facilities, according to the university.
The renovations will include adding more than 1,000 seats in the arena, bringing the total capacity to almost 14,000; nearly 40,000 square feet of lobby and concourse space; new locker rooms; restrooms with more than three times more toilets; concession stands with 25 more points of sale; and a team store for UCLA merchandise.
Pauley Pavilion will also have a retractable seating system with individual padded seats on the lower level, and a high-definition video scoreboard.
The first year of the renovation project will be focused on the north side and exterior of the facility.
Pauley Pavilion will be closed at the end of the 2010-2011 season, forcing all the teams using it to find alternate sites.
Possible temporary homes for the men's basketball team include the Forum, Staples Center and Honda Center, according to the university.
In addition to its athletic events, Pauley Pavilion is also used for a variety of student activities, including intramural sports and graduation.
Pauley Pavilion is a historical spot with a vibrant past. It was the site of a 1988 presidential debate between then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and then-Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis, best remembered for Dukakis, now a visiting professor at UCLA's School of Public Affairs, saying that if his wife Kitty was raped and murdered, he would oppose executing her killer.