|Pauley Pavilion Renovation Expected To Be
Completed In Time For 2012 Season
UCLA officials "unveiled their vision for an updated Pauley Pavilion on Monday afternoon, filling in blanks about a proposed" $185M project, according to David Wharton of the L.A. TIMES. UCLA "will look to trade choice seats for big donations, which could prompt some season-ticket holders to worry whether they will be pushed farther from the action." The seating issue is "big enough that officials decided to postpone giving any details at their announcement ceremony, opting to use the next few weeks to review the situation." UCLA AD Dan Guerrero said that the athletic department is "trying to hone a point system that balances new donors with loyal fans who have stuck with the Bruins for decades." But Wharton notes seating is "only one part of a redesign that seeks to transform the hallowed but aging venue by the fall of 2012." Proposed changes "would begin outside the building, where the traditional roof trusses would be accented with terra cotta and glass." A new main entrance to the north "would open to a lobby adorned by towering pictures of Bruins greats." Wide concourses "would provide space for expanded concession stands, restrooms with three times the current number of toilets and a merchandise store." The firm in charge of the renovation, NBBJ, has also "centered the court and filled the empty spaces behind each basket with retractable seating, increasing capacity to almost 14,000." An HD video scoreboard "would hang overhead and an LED ribbon board would circle the arena." UCLA officials said that they have "secured $52.5[M] in commitments, halfway to their goal" of $100M, and the school "hopes to start attracting construction bids by the end of the year, breaking ground by next spring." After the new Pauley Pavilion is completed, it "would carry significant debt service and the Pauleys have told UCLA they would not mind if the university sold naming rights." Guerrero said that at most UCLA "might attach a corporate name to the family name" (L.A. TIMES, 5/12
). Matt Pauley said UCLA "came to us and asked how the Pauley family would feel" about securing a naming-rights sponsor for the facility. Pauley: "At the end of the day, I'm a Bruin fan. I want to do what's right for the program. The Pauley family is going to be supportive in whatever ways we need to do so. In my mind, it's always going to be Pauley no matter what you call it." Meanwhile, in L.A., Jill Painter notes Pauley Pavilion tenants "will have to play games elsewhere during the 2011-12 season" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/12
UK FACILITIES: Univ. of Kentucky (UK) AD Mitch Barnhart yesterday said that UK "will decide in the next 60 to 90 days whether to go forward with plans for a new downtown basketball arena, a new campus baseball field and upgrades for Commonwealth Stadium." UK Athletics Media Relations Dir Tony Neely said that the school first "must come up with a viable financing model for the project." Barnhart said that UK officials "received three proposals for the project Friday and are in the process of reviewing them." Barnhart "declined to name the three groups at this point because UK is in a bidding process." But IMG College Senior VP & Managing Dir Tom Stultz "confirmed that his firm had submitted a proposal." In Lexington, Valarie Honeycutt Spears notes the three projects, which officials have "previously said would cost between [$300-400M], would be financed privately." Lexington Center President & CEO Bill Owen yesterday said that a new arena "could be operating by the 2014 or 2015 basketball season" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 5/12). HNTB, the sports architect that designed Joe Craft Center, Kentucky’s $30M basketball practice facility, and improvements to UK’s Commonwealth Stadium, is part of a second developer-led team that submitted a proposal, confirmed HNTB’s Gerardo Prado (Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal).