#SFatPauley: The Numbers on New Pauley's Student Seating Don't Jibe

The silence from the Daily Bruin and the traditional media may be deafening, but that doesn't mean that we are going to sit here blindly and bury our head in the sand.

Let's have a recap of the chronology in order to provide what I hope is a better picture of what exactly the athletic department was up to when reconfiguring the Pauley seats.

First, the news came out on January 19, 2011 that annual donation levels for Pauley seating were reduced.  Dan Guerrero said:

"We are happy to announce that due to the enormous generosity of hundreds of donors during our Campaign of Champions, all per seat Wooden Athletic Fund donation requirements throughout renovated Pauley Pavilion will be reduced by 20 percent from the previously-announced levels" 

On the face of it, great news.  At the time, the seating chart looked like this:

Seating_chart_medium

Fast forward three months, to March 30, 2011, when UCLA announced changes to "enhance" the student experience at Pauley.  The new seating chart is available below:

Seating_chart_new_medium

No need to recap the outrage, the betrayal and the disappointment here, it is clear how most Bruins feel about this move. But on this site we rely on more than emotion, we rely on facts.  And the numbers don't lie.

Follow me after the jump to see the true story behind this boondoggle.

Using the information contained in the new online virtual seating chart (which is a pretty neat tool...and may be the best part of this whole renovation, sadly), the numbers come out roughly as follows:

Season Tickets

Wooden Funds

Total

Original Plan

$13,644,524

$13,739,900

$27,384,424

Reduced Plan

$13,644,524

$10,991,920

$24,636,444

New Plan

$13,768,756

$12,410,160

$26,178,916

Do you see it?

The move to put all the students behind the baseline essentially reduces in half the "discount" for the annual Wooden Fund donations, which is reduced to just a 10% decrease.

That is the first point.

The second point has to do with the Student Section itself.  If they had left it as in the original plan, none of this upheaval would be happening.  But, they did, and it raised a whole slew of new questions.

The reason behind the change in the plan stems from the excuse that students would rather sit together in the stadium.  That is very true, however they used a misleading survey to banish the students to seats behind the basket.  The question arose as to why the students weren't just given the whole sections on one of the sidelines, as they used to have in the Wooden days.  Mark Harlan said that was "not economically viable".  I think Mark Harlan was channeling George Costanza:

This is the seating chart that I believe most Bruins would like to see:

Seating_chart_students_medium

You can't tell me this plan wouldn't rock the stadium.

And here are the numbers for this plan that is "not economically viable", using the original donation levels:

Season Tickets

Wooden Funds

Total

Student Plan

$13,404,534

$11,853,400

$25,257,934

Yup, a whopping $600k difference in annual donations for the Wooden Funds.  That's how much they gained by selling out the students at Pauley after all their missteps.  This is laughable.

Here is the spreadsheet if you want to have some fun and play around with the numbers.  Note that I assume every season ticket being sold, which is absurd but simplifies the analysis.  I may be off on some of the seat counts, but not by much...

Let me make something clear:  this whole affair truly saddens me.  There is no one who wants to see the renovation fail, or the fundraising fail.  But we are not going to sit idly on our asses when we feel that the students are being swindled and manipulated into giving up an experience that is rightfully theirs.

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