Email from Morgan Center: Enjoy the Sports Arena!

After beginning construction without having secured alternative venues for the 2011 basketball season (business 101), the Morgan Center is now scrambling to find places to play the games. In a letter to season ticket holders, they ask ticket holders to fill in how many games they would attend at which venue. Based on the number of games you can choose for each location, where do you think the majority of our games will be played next season?

Also, notice (from the email) that the Morgan Center has ruled out using LMU's basketball facility, which seats 4,200 and is 9 miles from campus. Our average attendance to out of conference home games this year was 5,500. Do we really think we are going to draw better than that to the sports arena?

Does the Morgan Center believe it is better to have 4,500 fans in the sports arena, leaving 10,500 empty seats, than to fill the LMU facility? What is going on with these guys?

Here is the email:

As you know, due to the construction of the new Pauley Pavilion, the UCLA Men's Basketball team will be playing in an alternate arena (or arenas) next season.

We have expended a considerable amount of time looking at the LA Forum (Inglewood) as a preferred alternative.  During this process, Madison Square Garden(MSG) announced their intent to purchase the facility with the desire of turning the building into a concert hall.  Although MSG was excited about the opportunity to host the Bruins, their future renovation plans will now preclude that from being able to occur.

We have several options available and are interested in hearing your opinion as to where you think we should play our games in 2011-12 before making this decision.  Once our decision on arena location(s) is made, we will use the information to build ticket packages before mailing your season ticket renewals.

It will be a season of change and we are excited by the possibilities; virtually every player is expected to return to a team that looks to be improving each week, plus we welcome the Wear twins and freshman guard Norman Powell to the squad.  We have been projected by some to be a nationally ranked team in 2011-12.

Please read the following description of the venues under consideration (listed in alphabetical order) and then answer eight questions about which you would prefer.  This confidential survey should take approximately five minutes to complete and will remain accessible for your response for one week.

Citizens Business Bank Arena
, Ontario, 3 games available.
This facility offers 9,500 seats and more than 3,500 parking spaces and is located 57 miles from the UCLA campus.  It is virtually brand new, having opened in 2008, and has hosted several Laker pre-season games.   We are considering the possibility of playing one exhibition game and a maximum of two regular season games in Citizens Bank Arena.  The exhibition game may be provided on a complimentary or discounted basis to season ticket holders.

Honda Center, Anaheim, 9 home dates available with potential for more. Opened in 1993, the Honda Center annually plays host to the Wooden Classic and is the home of the NHL Ducks.  Located 43 miles from campus, this facility is very nice and seats 18,900 with 4,500 parking spaces.  We are considering the possibility of playing up to 9 home games in the Honda Center.

LA Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, 18 home dates available. Located 15 miles from campus, the facility opened in 1959.  The building seats 16,021 and offers 6,500 parking spaces.  The Sports Arena played home to the Bruins from 1959 through 1965.  During this time frame, UCLA won two NCAA Championships, four AIAW conference crowns and was unbeaten in 1964 (15–0) and 1965 (14-0).  The Sports Arena held the 1968 and 1972 Final Fours (both won by the Bruins).  The Sports Arena has committed to providing UCLA with 18 game dates (all or in part) for the coming season and has agreed to provide necessary cosmetic changes to enhance UCLA's prospective participation and a potential retro-branding campaign.

RaboBank Arena, Bakersfield, 1 Game. We are considering the possibility of playing one game in Bakersfield.  Located 109 miles from campus, RaboBank Arena opened in 1998.  The Lakers have played pre-season games here.  The building seats 10,000 with 3,000 parking spaces on site and on surrounding surface streets.  Discounted or complimentary tickets would be offered to season ticket holders should we play a game in Bakersfield.

Staples Center, Los Angeles, limited availability, 2 game dates might become available. With 19,079 seats and 16,000 parking spots on-site and nearby, the Staples Center is located 15 miles from campus.  Located in the heart of downtown, the Staples Center is the site of the Pac-10 Basketball Tournament.  Because Staples is home to the NBA Lakers, Clippers and NHL Kings, date availability is extremely limited.  We are hoping to secure as many games as possible.  Ticket and parking prices would probably be slightly higher in this venue than the others under consideration.

Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena), San Diego, 2 games. We are considering the possibility of playing one conference series (Thur., Sat.) in San Diego.  The facility seats 13,700 for basketball games and has 5,000 parking spaces on-site and within a 5-minute walk.  Opened in 1966, the venue was the site of the 1975 NCAA Championships, the last two games that Coach Wooden ever coached.  The building has recently undergone $4 million in renovations and annually plays host to a Laker pre-season game.  It is 130 miles from the UCLA campus.

We have not provided information on the Anaheim Convention Center or Long Beach Convention Center as we have concluded that the Honda Center is our best option in the Orange County/Long Beach region.

Loyola Marymount and other surrounding Southern California college venues have also been excluded from final consideration as they do not offer enough seating capacity for our fan base.

A prior proposal to tent the LA Tennis Center on campus and lay a basketball court down was deemed unfeasible.

Now that you have the background, please share your opinions with us.

Please submit your survey no later than next Mon., Feb. 21.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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