UCLA Hoops 2011-12, the traveling road show

UCLA senior associate athletic director Mark Harlan told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that the program was now zeroing in on the Sports Arena, the Honda Center and Staples Center as part of what likely be a traveling roadshow for the men’s basketball team next season, as Pauley Pavilion is being renovated and the Great Western Forum is not an option.

UCLA has sent out surveys to season-ticket holders about their preference for the 18 home games on the schedule next season. It is looking increasingly realistic, though, that UCLA will essentially be on a tour of Southern California, with games also potentially played in San Diego (Valley View Casino Center), Bakersfield (RaboBank Arena) and Ontario (Citizens Business Bank Arena).

“We’re going to play wherever they tell us to play,” UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. “It doesn’t matter what my preference is. What matters is we’re going to be out of there for a year. It’s obviously going to be more dififcult traveling to a home game. But for the long-term health of the program, the facility being redone the way it is is great. Much needed.”

Of concern to Howland is the possible transportation of students to and from games, but that is being discussed along with game locations.

“It’s going to be like going to the Rose Bowl; the school will provide transportation to and from,” Howland said. “Hopefully it can be turned into a road show for a year.”

With two crucial Bay Area road games this week – two wins would put the Bruins at 11-3 in league play – Howland has is thoughts elsewhere.

“What I’m realy worried about is the game on Thursday,” Howland said. “It’s so far down the list of things I think about, it’s not even funny.”

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  • Reformed Droog

    Out of curiosity – would all of next year’s “home” games be marked as neutral site?

  • Anonymous

    “Home” games in San Diego?! Are you kidding me! Try and tell any other team in the country to play a home game 135 miles away from campus. Anywhere within LA County should be the limit (except of course the Galen Center). Maybe have one or two games at the Honda Center as a last resort. But Bakersfield and SD are way too far away for any home game.

  • Anonymous

    I know we are talking about student athletes but this could be a good thing for UCLA. For one, this will help in recruiting and giving more exposure to UCLA basketball in the SD and Central Valley areas. Second, this is what pro athletes do for a living. So in essence, they are preparing for a grueling NBA schedule.

  • Anonymous

    Just like the Lakers in the pre-season! They take their talents to places outside LA!

  • anon

    WTH? they offer Bakersfield, Ontario, and San Diego as viable options??? Why not offer Sacramento, Fresno, Las Vegas, and Phoenix as options? I hear Cowboys stadium in Texas will be fine for us Bruins to go to.

    Ugh. Where is the planning??? Of those options, the only one I like is the Honda Center (since only 2 dates available at Staples). At least it’s a modern place. Combine Honda Center with Staples, and give the remaining to the place that the Trogans dumped.

    Bakersfield???? have people seen the dump that is Bakersfield and how far away it is??? It’s cheaper and faster to fly to a major city like San Francisco than it is to drive to Bakersfield.

  • Bruin in SD

    I would LOVE for the team to play a few games here in San Diego!!

  • BRUINBEATCH

    This could be GREAT for exposure but again it’s all on how UCLA markets this. I work in Ontario and I will be attending ever game that is played there. I better see some nice billboards with the stunning UCLA blue to attract my attention! Im tired of seeingand a damn “got milk” billboard featuring SUC everyday when getting on the 60. We need to have a good attendance no matter the place it is up to marketing not to fail. GO BRUINS!

  • Reformed Droog

    They’re failing right now in the house that John Wooden built. Do you really have a lot of faith in the same marketing department responsible for “the monopoly is over” and the “come watch your team kill the bruins” advertisements?

  • Anon

    There is very little home court advantage in Pauley right now from a crowd perspective. Take 150-200 students and the band to any arena by bus and it will effectively be the same cheering you have now. So, the key factor is travel. If you have to go far, make sure it is at least as disadvantageous or moreso for the opoponent. So, I would reserve Bakersfield for the UCLA-USC game to make them travel and to make sure it was equally remote for their fans. Also, schedule the early season December games in places like San Diego, Anaheim etc since you get virtually no student support during those vacation periods and they should be able to beat those teams regardless of the travel (and the travel itself shouldn’t be a big deal because there are no classes). Just make sure we aren’t playing a team for which that arena is the natural territory (e.g., UCI, San Diego State). The Sports Arena could be reserved for Thursday league games when we want students to attend, but they can’t leave early enough to get anywhere else. It’s also a lot easier for alum working downtown to attend those games.

  • BruinAficionado

    Valley View Casino? That’s even far for anyone living in San Diego.

  • Mike H class of 90

    Would love to see a couple games up in the SF Bay Area…maybe the Oregon and Washington schools? Nice venue at HP Pavillion, good fan base of UCLA alumni and only a couple hour flight (compared to some of those bus rides, this would be easy but probably a bit more expensive).