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.”