UCLA today announced its men's basketball schedule and playing venues for the 2011-12 season. Fourteen regular-season games will be played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and four will be played at the Honda Center in Anaheim. UCLA's one exhibition game will be played at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
The Bruins called the Sports Arena home for six seasons (1959-60 through 1964-65) prior to moving into Pauley Pavilion for the 1965-66 season. Those UCLA teams won the school's first two NCAA basketball championships (1964 and 1965). In addition, the Sports Arena was the site of the 1968 and 1972 NCAA Final Four, both won by UCLA.
"We are happy to announce that dates and sites for our "Bruin Road Show" have been finalized," said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. "The leadership groups at all three facilities have been very accommodating and we will do everything possible to make this a positive experience for our fan base.
"We will make the Sports Arena a great environment for our fans and our team. We will bring our championship banners and will paint our colors as much as possible in the interiors of the building, including the basketball court, to make it our home away from home. For the fans, there is ample secured parking adjacent to the facility. Our staff will be working with Sports Arena management to create a fun, fan-friendly atmosphere inside and outside the facility for the upcoming season.
"We are also excited about being able to play four games this season in a great facility like the Honda Center. Our players and our fans have enjoyed their experiences at Honda Center over the years and we hope everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to see the Bruins in Orange County.
"The opportunity to play an exhibition game at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario will give us the chance to expose UCLA basketball to fans that don't normally make the drive to Westwood and we appreciate the arena management working with us on this project," said Guerrero. "We are offering this game to our season ticket holders at a deeply-discounted price that also includes parking with hopes that they will make the drive on a Sunday afternoon.
"We've talked all year about taking our show on the road and I'm happy everything is set," said men's head basketball coach Ben Howland. "The upcoming season will be unique for everyone involved but I am happy that we are playing most of our games at one facility and I know that our fans will continue to support us wherever we play."
In determining where the various contests would be played, UCLA examined several options on venues that hold at least 10,000 spectators. Included in that group was the Forum in Inglewood, but that facility became unavailable after its current owners reached an agreement to sell to Madison Square Garden, which has renovation plans for the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings.
UCLA also solicited feedback from its season-ticket base, as well as other fans that had purchased tickets in the past few years, by emailing a survey with various facility and game quantity options.
The results of the survey showed the vast majority of the season ticket holders preferred playing games in the Los Angeles area. At the same time, many also expressed the desire for some games in Orange County, particularly if they were weekend contests.
STAPLES Center was included on the survey because UCLA and STAPLES Center had a mutual interest in having several games hosted there. But, due to NBA/NHL scheduling requirements, STAPLES Center could not commit until the NBA and NHL released their schedules, which generally is in mid-July and was too late in the decision process.
In the first season of Pac-12 competition, the Bruins will have nine conference home opponents – Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Stanford, USC, Utah, Washington and Washington State. In addition, the Bruins will also host Big 12 opponent Texas, a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament; Richmond, which reached the NCAA Sweet 16; local schools Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and UC Irvine; Middle Tennessee as part of the Maui Invitational; Eastern Washington, Penn and UC Davis.
Included in the four games at Honda Center is the John R. Wooden Classic. Honda Center and the Wooden family, in cooperation with UCLA, have designated the Jan. 5 game versus Arizona as this season's John R. Wooden Classic. The event will include a number of unique and commemorative elements, which will be detailed in the coming months. Honda Center and the Wooden family will work together going forward to restore the Wooden Classic to its previous level of greatness.
The road schedule includes nine Pac-12 games (Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Washington and Washington State), a trip to Madison Square Garden to face St. John's (the Red Storm played at Pauley Pavilion this past season) and three contests at the Maui Invitational (the field includes Chaminade, Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan and Tennessee).
UCLA will have a pre-season closed scrimmage with a Division I opponent in lieu of a second exhibition game this season. In accordance with NCAA rules, that scrimmage must be closed to the public.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bruin faithful and our loyal season ticket holders for their assistance in this process by participating in the survey regarding alternate venues for next season," said Guerrero. "We hope that you will continue to support your Bruins in this year of transition and we all look forward to the opening of New Pauley in the Fall of 2012."
For information on the various season ticket packages available, please go to http://www.uclabruins.com/tickets/mbaskbl-tickets.html.
UCLA is currently researching round trip busing to all venues for season ticket holders. More details will follow shortly. UCLA students will be offered the option of busing separately, similar to that which is offered to students for football games at the Rose Bowl. Student busing will be offered on a complimentary basis for basketball games.
Season ticket renewals will be sent in the next seven to 10 days.
Tentative 2011-12 UCLA Men's Basketball Schedule
Sun., Nov. 6 Exhibition (@ Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario)
Fri., Nov. 11 Loyola Marymount
Tues., Nov. 15 Middle Tennessee State (Maui-on-Mainland)
Mon., Nov. 21 @ EA Sports Maui Invitational
(Chaminade, Duke, Georgetown,
Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee)
Tues., Nov. 22 @ EA Sports Maui Invitational
Wed., Nov. 23 @ EA Sports Maui Invitational
Mon., Nov. 28 Pepperdine
Fri., Dec. 2 Texas
Sat., Dec. 10 Penn (@ Honda Center)
Wed., Dec. 14 Eastern Washington
Sat., Dec. 17 UC Davis (@ Honda Center)
Tues., Dec. 20 UC Irvine
Fri., Dec. 23 Richmond
Thu., Dec. 29 @ California
Sat., Dec. 31 @ Stanford
Thu., Jan. 5 Arizona (Wooden Classic @ Honda Center)
Sat., Jan. 7 Arizona State (@ Honda Center)
Sat., Jan. 14 @ USC
Thu., Jan. 19 @ Oregon State
Sat., Jan. 21 @ Oregon
Thu., Jan. 26 Utah
Sat., Jan. 28 Colorado
Thu., Feb. 2 @ Washington
Sat., Feb. 4 @ Washington State
Thu., Feb. 9 Stanford
Sat., Feb. 11 California
Wed., Feb. 15 USC
Sat., Feb. 18 @ St. John's
Thu., Feb. 23 @ Arizona State
Sat., Feb. 25 @ Arizona
Thu., Mar. 1 Washington State
Sat., Mar. 3 Washington
Mar. 7 - Mar. 10 Pac-12 Tournament @ Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Mar. 15 - Mar. 18 NCAA Second and Third Round
Mar. 22 - Mar. 25 NCAA Regional
Mar. 31 & Apr. 2 NCAA Final Four
All home games at L.A. Sports Arena unless noted.