The UCLA athletics department has a press release out boasting about "enhancing student experience" at new Pauley. Here is how it reads:
A unified, cohesive student section designed to create an increased home court advantage for the UCLA men's and women's basketball team will be implemented going forward. The Den will start immediately behind the West basket (the side located adjacent to the visiting team bench), span the entire width of the court and will stretch all the way to the top of the arena. This configuration is similar to arenas at many Pac-12 schools, including Arizona, Oregon and USC, as well as many around the nation. Approximately 1900 seats will incorporate the new Den for Men's Basketball, an increase of approximately 200 seats from years past. This general admission section will be built around the energy and creativity of the UCLA Band, Spirit Squad, Den leadership, Rally Committee and frankly, all students who attend. The visiting teams will shoot free throws into this basket in the second half. Good luck.
Read that again. It means UCLA is eliminating student seats from the sidelines. There will be no student seating along the sidelines and they will be limited only behind one basket. If you had any vision of student section at the new Pauley looking like Cameron Indoors, you can stop now.
It looks like the athletics department has no interest in infusing our basketball games with energy and raucous atmosphere. One would think the department would have made an earnest effort to get the students closer to the court, closer to the action, and create an atmosphere that is worthy of an elite program.
Instead they trot out a press release justifying a lame move by playing up the high school environment of USC. They do fill up their arena for the game against us other wise it is basically an empty arena with few dozen "fans." That's what the standard is UCLA athletics these days.
Just when you thought the UCLA Athletic department couldn't look any worse. They come up with another FAIL.