Pauley Pavilion by Decade
Before the construction of the Pavilion, the on-campus home to the UCLA Bruins men's
basketball team was the 2,000 seat Men's Gym, nicknamed the "B.O. Barn". Games were
also played at the Pan Pacific Auditorium, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and
other venues around Los Angeles.
Bruin teams, coached by John Wooden won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball
Championship in 1964 and 1965. Fans and Coach Wooden felt that a suitable arena
needed to be constructed. The arena was constructed so that there would be some space
between the crowds and the action on the court. Coach Wooden cited the example of the
close quarters of Harmon Gym (now Haas Pavilion) where fans would pull leg hairs from
his players' legs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, was recruited to
UCLA partly on the promise of playing in the new arena.
H.R. Haldeman [Chief on Staff of Nixon White House 1969-1973] headed the campaign to
build a state-of-the-art sports arena. A million dollars was raised, which was matched by a
donation from Edwin W.Pauley
The building was dedicated to Regent Edwin W. Pauley, at the June 1965 commencement
ceremony by UCLA Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy
The facility opened for the 1965–1966 college basketball season. A freshman team led by
Big Lew Alcindor defeated the varsity team, which heralded great things to come.
Ohio State was the first visiting team in the regular season. The Bruins defeated the
Buckeyes in the inaugural game 92-66.
Pauley Pavilion hosted its first NCAA Regional Finals in the 1969 post-season. The Bruins
advanced from there to win the 1969 Championship.
John Wooden coached what would be his final game in Pauley Pavilion March 1st, 1975 in
a 93-59 victory over Stanford. Four weeks later he would surprisingly announce his
retirement following the NCAA semi-final victory against Louisville and before his 10th
National championship victory against Kentucky. The Bruins won 149 games to 2 losses
at home between 1965 and 1975. Bruin men's basketball teams won 8 more NCAA Men's
Division I Basketball Championships from 1967 through 1975 under Coach Wooden.
The 1978 AIAW Women's Basketball Championship Final Four was hosted at Pauley
Pavilion. UCLA defeated the University of Maryland, College Park 90-74 to win their first
Women's basketball championship in front of a crowd of 9,531.
The 1979 Final Four AIAW event was held here also. UCLA lost to eventual national
champion Old Dominion in the semi-final game 87-82.
The first NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship was held at Pauley Pavilion in 1981,
with UCLA falling to USC in the title match.
The building was host to the 1984 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship. It
was the third championship since the NCAA championship took precedence over the
AIAW championship. The USC Trojan women's basketball team defeated the University of
Tennessee Lady Vols 72-61.
In the 1985 post-season, the Bruins hosted their first National Invitation Tournament (NIT)
tournament games under coach Walt Hazzard. The Bruins won all three and advanced to
the finals to win the tournament. In November 1985 at the intrasquad game, a banner was
added in a ceremony commemorating the tournament championship. The banner was the
same size and style as the NCAA championship banners. This banner has been
The first Pacific Ten Conference men's basketball tournament was played in Pauley
Pavilion in the 1987 post-season. The Bruins were the first tournament champions.
The 1987 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship was held in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA
defeated USC 3 - 0 to win the title.
In the 1989–1990 season, the building was celebrated in "25 years of Pauley". A book,
Pauley Pavilion: College Basketball's Showplace by David Smale, was released
commemorating the great teams that played there as well as great moments in the history
of the building. The first jersey numbers of outstanding players were retired and displayed
in the building (see below).
The venue played host to the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.
In 1995 the Bruins won their eleventh NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship,
this time under coach Jim Harrick.
On October 14, 1995, the first day of practice after UCLA won its eleventh national
championship in basketball, the UCLA Men's and Women's Basketball teams held UCLA's
first - and heretofore only - Midnight Madness ceremony. (In NCAA rules before the 2005
season, practices could not begin until midnight of the first day. Many schools would use
this as an opportunity to build support for their teams by beginning the season publicly at
the first possible minute.)
Former UCLA coach John Wooden and his late wife were honored on December 20, 2003
when the basketball floor at Pauley Pavilion was named "Nell & John Wooden Court."
Since his retirement, Coach Wooden has been a fixture at UCLA Men's Basketball games.
The pavillion played host to the 18th, 19th, and, 20th annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice
|2007: UCLA's Darren Collison goes up for two of
his team-high 17 points in the No. 2 Bruins' 70-65
victory over the No. 19 Trojans on Wednesday.
Pauley Pavilion Information
Pauley Pavilion contains 10,337 permanent theater-style upholstered seats, plus retractable bleachers for 2,482 spectators, making a total
basketball capacity of 12,829. This capacity has been exceeded several times for several men's basketball games by adding portable bleacher
seating alongside the retractable bleachers. The single-game attendance record of 13,478 was set on February 23, 1997 (UCLA vs. Duke).
When the bleachers are retracted, there is space for three full-sized basketball courts. These courts are used for team practice, intramural
games, and pickup basketball games. It can also serve as a convention hall or large dining area when in this configuration.
When used for men's volleyball, the basketball court is striped with colored tape. The volleyball net is erected at the half court line. The women's
team uses blue and yellow Sport Court lined up perpendicularly to the basketball court tucked up to the east end of the court.
There is a tunnel on the south side through which trucks and service vehicles may enter. This is also the "backstage" entrance for players,
performers, and broadcast personnel.
The floor is called "Nell and John Wooden Court." Former UCLA Men's Basketball Coach John Wooden attends every basketball game and sits at
the far southeast side of the court behind the UCLA team bench. Before a game and during halftime a big line backs up to get John Wooden's