Photos: Pauley Pavilion comes back

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The view from the floor. Along with basketball, Pauley will also be home to UCLA's volleyball and gymnastic competitions as before. It will also host concerts, rallies and campus special events.

This week, UCLA unveils the new Pauley Pavilion after the completion of a two-year long, $136 million dollar renovation project. For sports fans, Pauley is holy ground for collegiate athletics, especially when it comes to basketball. It’s the place, after all, where legendary coach John Wooden led his men’s basketball team to 10 NCAA national titles in 12 seasons. In fact, between 1965 and 1975, UCLA basketball won 149 games to 2  losses at home. Yeah, 2!

Over the decades, Pauley has also hosted countless campus events, rock concerts, political debates, awards shows and global happenings, like the gymnastics competitions for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

How has the renovation changed Pauley? Well, much has stayed the same, but the venue now comes with a new wrap around glass concourse, additional food and retail space, new locker and weight training rooms for student athletes, and lots more electronic razzle dazzle above the stadium floor.

Of course there are some clouds above Pauley. The stadium is being reopened at a time UCLA is cutting classes and raising student tuition payments as a response to harsh economic times.

You can learn more about Pauley by listening to my story below and checking out the photos I took during a sneak preview visit.

Workers put the finishing touches on Pauley Pavilion the day we were there. A new glass visitors concourse wraps around the stadium, letting in light and creating more space for food sales and merchandising compared to the old venue.
UCLA’s says it’s trying to balance old and new with the renovated Pauley Pavilion. The arena has the same feel as the old Pauley but boasts news seats, a new scoreboard and way more electronic wraparound signage.
The view from the floor. Along with basketball, Pauley will also be home to UCLA’s volleyball and gymnastic competitions as before. It will also host concerts, rallies and campus special events.
Pauley Pavilion’s new men’s basketball locker room. It may never smell as good as it does now before the season starts. By the way, we asked, and, yes, the women’s basketball locker room has exactly the same dimensions and amenities.
Every seat at Pauley is Bruin blue, except for the seat where legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden sat, which is gold. Pauley Pavilion, after all, is also known as the “House that Wooden Built.”