Last night, UCLA announced that, after surveying both the Den and affected season ticket holders, it will move the UCLA bench from the sunny West side of the Rose Bowl to the shady East side.
While this was something that seem to become an issue this year, it’s been in the works for a while. UCLA head coach Jim Mora noted in one of his postgame press conferences that he felt the team was at a disadvantage on the West side during day games because of heat and glare from the sun.
As a result of the switch, the student section will be moved due to conference rules prohibiting the placement of the student section behind the visiting team’s bench.
This is the first modification to student seating since UCLA Football moved to the Rose Bowl in 1982. UCLA will allocate all lower level sections from 8-H to 15-L to the students; an increase of 5,036, or 205%, lower level seats for students. Additionally, students will be allocated overflow seating in upper 15-L to 13-H on the west side of the Rose Bowl, an additional allocation of 2,186 total seats, or roughly 25% more total seats than they have ever had. The new student sections are shown in the dark gray.
One of the more interesting notes about the new configuration is the new location of seating for the visiting team. The visitors section will be located, at least for now, in sections 7-H and 8-L. Rather than relocating the visitors section to the south end zone, the Athletic Department has relocated the visitors to where the students used to be.
The logic behind this doesn’t make sense, at least not initially.
The fact of the matter is UCLA just doesn’t sell out its sideline seating at this point and making these sections visitor seating will probably allow UCLA to charge visitors more to visit the Rose Bowl. Of course, if UCLA wants to increase demand for UCLA Football season tickets, there needs to be better results on the field. That goes without saying. But, it’s tangential to the Rose Bowl Seating configuration for next season.
Placing the visitors in 7-H and 8-L for now doesn’t take the sections away permanently. If UCLA suddenly needed those sections due to an increase in the number of season ticket holders, they certainly have the flexibility to move the visitors elsewhere in the Rose Bowl.
For now, charge the visitors more for the better seats they’ll enjoy!
And, let’s hope there are plenty of late afternoon games early in the season that causes their fans to sweat, makes their players hotter and forces them to deal with the glare of the sun.
Now, if we can just get the shady side fans to stand up for games....