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Lining Up before the Game

[Before the Game]

There are no reserved student seats for Men's Basketball at Pauley Pavilion. The student-ticket gates (gates 10 and 15) open 1 hour before game time, and the student seats are first-come first-served at that time. This is ostensibly to make seating fair; the assumption being that the fans who are most dedicated to the team will line up well before the doors open in order to get the best seats possible.

The problem with this is that there may be fanatic students who will line up for days and miss classes in order to get the best seats (particularly for the big games). To avoid this, the UCLA rally committee hands out priority numbers the morning of the game, and people who get the priority numbers are allowed in first. Each year, there is a slightly different set of rules involved, but it always starts with having a student ticket.

[Cameron is Introduced]
[A Rally Committee Member]

Typically, the earliest you can line up is the night before the game. A rally committee member shows up at 7 AM and hands out the priority numbers. Once you get one, you can leave and go to class and return about an hour before game time. At some of the big games I've attended, I actually camped out over night with hundreds of other students to get those choice seats. Notably, both of the UCLA vs. Duke games had a substantial crowd of students that waited all night for priority numbers.

Priority numbers are issued for 4 separate sets of doors, representing floor seats and colonade seats at gates 10 and 15. The floor has the advantage that they are literally courtside seats, but they are bleachers and often get over-filled. Also, the students in the floor seats generally stand for the whole game. The concourse section starts in the 10th row, but they are individual seats, and people in them generally sit for most of the game. All but 4 of UCLA basketball games that I've attended, I've sat in the first row of the concourse or on the floor (usually the former).

[Priority Number 3]
[View from Upper Level Seats]

At this point you may have the perception that all the students have it sweet in terms of basketball seating. This is not the whole story. Though many of the seats are courtside, or within the first 20 rows or so, more than half of the student seats are in the upper section of the Pavilion.

If there are any priority numbers left from the morning, they are handed out two hours prior to game time. Shortly after that students start showing up, and are lined up in order by their priority number. People who don't get priority numbers are lined up in a separate line, which is let in after those with priority numbers. The time spent in line is a good opportunity to catch up with some of your friends who are also fans, to speculate about who's gonna do what during the game, where we'll be seeded in the tournament and so forth. An hour before the game, the doors open, the lines start letting in, and the students begin the mad dash for seats.

[John's Home Page] [The Dash for Seats] [Warmups] [The Tunnel] [Player Introductions]