UCLA says Pauley will be ready for season; court might be ruined

The massive flooding that took over parts of UCLA's campus Tuesday has led to certain damages and lingering questions about some of the athletic facilities.

Of the utmost urgency and importance is Pauley Pavilion, which is home to UCLA basketball among other sports. The inundation -- caused by a ruptured water main on nearby Sunset Boulevard -- led to flooding throughout Pauley. The damage to the arena comes less than two years after it was renovated at a cost upward of $130 million.

UCLA vice chancellor Kelly Schmader said at a press conference Wednesday that Pauley Pavilion took on "eight to 10 inches of water" with "buckling and expansion" of the court. The arena itself did not suffer from significant damage to its structure. But there is no certainty the court can be saved. School athletic director Dan Guerrero told the LA Times on Wednesday that Pauley will be ready for the fall season -- just more than a month away.

What is certain: the court that was soaked on Tuesday night will not be the court laid for play in Pauley going forward. A temporary court will be brought in while the current one dries out. Whether the warping can be fixed or if certain parts of the court remain salvageable is still to be decided.

College basketball courts can cost anywhere between $60,000-$80,000.

Via The Los Angeles Times:

Earlier in the day, Rich Mylin, UCLA's associate director of facilities and event operations, said that he had toured the area with insurance adjusters and that it was unclear when the arena might be usable again.

"We won't have any final real say on damage and replacements until probably Friday, I would hope," Mylin said.


There are also about two dozen workers at Pauley Pavilion, removing wet equipment, placing fans around the facility and peeling paint. Wooden Center is shut down, and there are emergency response trucks outside. There are about 10 workers removing carpet at the J.D. Morgan Center.

"This already looks a lot different than last night," said Jeff Tritt, the associate engineer of IT Services. "Last night we were under water. Today it looks doable. I was just asking them [maintenance crews] if they're going to be able to salvage the track, and they think they're going to."

On Wednesday afternoon, Guerrero released the following details. I've edited them down:

The water main break on Sunset Boulevard yesterday impacted the following structures relating to Athletics: Drake Stadium, John Wooden Center, J.D. Morgan Center, UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, Acosta Center, Gifford Golf Practice Facility, and Pauley Pavilion.

As of this morning, the standing water in all athletic indoor facilities has been eliminated.

While the water has subsided, silt remains on the new Mondo track surface of Drake Stadium. Volunteers and work crews are in the process of removing it, and we are simply in clean-up mode.

Inside Pauley Pavilion, the north side of the building was the most impacted by the flooding. The water reached the lower level of Pauley and affected the playing surface, locker rooms and other ancillary areas, as well as the Pavilion Club.

While assessments are ongoing in regard to the damage and how to proceed, the building itself has not been structurally compromised. The largest issue we currently face within Pauley is in regard to the playing surface. We have numerous options, and based on the information our experts and consultants have provided thus far, I am confident that the facility will be ready for our men’s and women’s basketball teams this upcoming season.

So it remains a process that will probably find more resolution, and something of a timeline, hopefully by week's end.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his eighth season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics,... Full Bio

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