Pauley Pavilion, our indoor stadium that had been under construction since March 2011, has finally reopened for this year’s basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics season. Thousands of students and parents gathered in the newly renovated stadium to take part in the free Pauley Pavilion Opening Madness Event held last Friday evening. The event was accompanied by the Homecoming festival, which consisted of about 20 carnival-style game booths, five giveaways, and obstacle course races. While waiting for the opening madness to start, my friends and I walked around the festival and eventually ended up with handfuls of candy and glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls in our pockets. The games were pretty fun too. I especially liked the Cupcake Walk booth just because I kept winning and got a bunch of cupcakes.
The event was opened by the UCLA Kyoto Taiko drummers, followed by other performances led by singer India Carney, the Nikkei Student Union Modern dance team, UCLA Marching Band, and UCLA Spirit Squad throughout the night. The best part for me was seeing Joe Bruin dancing to Gangnam Style played by the UCLA Marching Band. Apart from the performances, the student athletes from various sports teams like basketball and volleyball were also introduced to the audience, who praised them with enthusiastic screams and claps that echoed throughout the stadium.
Having never been to the old Pauley stadium, I have no idea how much the stadium has changed, but I know this for a fact: I’m definitely going to basketball games this year.