Bumped. For folks meeting UCLA Athletics officials on this issue lot of useful pointers in this post and the ensuing comment thread. - BN Eds.
This post was originally intended as a response to westsidebruin26's possible meeting with Mark "Baghdad Bob" Harlan. His original post is as follows:
Well… After a pretty brutal email I sent to Harlan (Sr. Associate AD) and DG, I got a response from Harlan offering a meeting to discuss the student section move. I already have plenty of thoughts on what I am going to talk to him about (demand lol), but I would welcome any suggestions.
If you have anything in mind, just reply to this comment. Hopefully somehow we can all alter their horrible decision. Thanks guys.
Here are some suggested questions for folks who are meeting with Harlan or any other UCLA officials in person or communicating on email concerning this issue:
- Ask why the student survey was conducted in such an egregiously subversive manner?
- Why were the students not asked DIRECTLY if they were supportive of moving the student section behind just one baseline, and instead asked something tangentially (at best) similar?
- Ask why this situation even occurred in the first place? Why, if the original "success" (as had been claimed by UCLA AD officials including Harlan) of fund-raising allowed for lower donations for seats?
- Why are the student sections, as planned by the Morgan center originally, no longer financially sufficient? Did they lie then, or are they lying now? It simply cannot be neither.
- Finally, you need to ask why this misguided change is being made, ostensibly, to give us a better "home court advantage".
The simple fact is winning is lucrative. You win, more people (and students) attend games, and you make more money. IF this change is made, our student section will be effectively neutered, despite his beliefs to the contrary. I have SEEN IT HAPPEN. Unification only matters so much when you’re watching the game from the jumbotron. We will be less successful as a basketball team if this change is implemented. Ask them
- Why, if they are ACTUALLY concerned with winning and a "home court advantage" are they doing their best to disrupt BOTH?
Let me be clear. This situation, it seems, began with student leaders asking to unite the student section. This in and of itself was, in my humble opinion, an extremely misguided idea.
Student unity is important, but there is plenty of student unity when we're WINNING, as bk bruin pointed out in his post. These students also, it seems, thought that the original seating plan with students along the sidelines and basket was not the best case scenario. Instead, they believed best case was students on the sideline, all the way to the rafters. This is silly for many reasons, and merely adds to the misguided nature of these "cohesiveness" suggestions.
Was it ever a viable option to put the students at midcourt and go to the rafters? Financially or not, it wasn’t an option and won’t ever be! Would you, alumni, want to give up your 50 yard line seats so that students have a "greater influence" on the game? I highly doubt that!
It seems that the
Morgan Morgoth Center (apologies for the Tolkien reference, non-giant nerds) took this and ran with it as far as they could. To the bank. They realized it was their opening to grab up some valuable real estate and milk it for all their worth. This cannot succeed. The students, or at least their representatives, are not blameless in this. But they now need our help. We need to mobilize further against this. This will kill us for three reasons:
1) We lose any and all home court advantage. Being in a section does not mean you effectively create noise or affect the other team, just because you're a section. Being on the sidelines has proven effectiveness and gives us the best possible chance to win games, thus creating revenue.
2) Alums replacing students will be of similar make and model to many (not all) alums that already attend games. You know, the ones who complain when students stand up or jump up and down. The ones who fall asleep during games. These alums, while generous, should not be afforded ultimate consideration for seating. Much consideration, to be sure, but not ultimate.
3) We LOSE MONEY. Why is fan attendance down? Because we've been playing mediocre basketball. IF we win, as bk himself admitted, we get attendance, and create an amazing atmosphere. We sell more tickets, more hot-dogs, more parking passes, etc. We get better recruits, as the atmosphere is exciting, and we can field a better team, thus we win more, thus we create more revenue.
This is is simple, but either the Morgan Center does not, or will not accept this. So we must make them. Please post your questions for Westside, so he can ask Harlan point blank and let us know if he's lying through his teeth. Keep emailing, keep calling, keep up the pressure. Because if we let up? Well, we all know what the Morgan center can do with even the smallest opportunity.