LOS ANGELES — UCLA will play most of its home basketball schedule at the Los Angeles Sports Arena next season while Pauley Pavilion is being renovated.
The Bruins will play 14 regular season games at the downtown Sports Arena, with four others being played at Honda Center in Anaheim. Their lone exhibition game will be at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
Among the four games at Honda Center will be the John R. Wooden Classic. But instead of the annual doubleheader involving four teams, UCLA will play Arizona on Jan. 5.
UCLA said the Wooden family would work with Honda Center in the future to restore the event to its previous stature.
The Bruins will return to the Sports Arena, which they called home from 1959-65 before moving into Pauley on the Westwood campus for the 1965-66 season. The Sports Arena was the site of the 1968 and ‘72 NCAA Final Four, both won by the Bruins.
Athletic director Dan Guerrero says UCLA will bring its 11 national championship banners to the Sports Arena. The school will paint the team colors inside the aging arena that was home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and rival Southern California before the Trojans opened a new campus arena in 2006.
UCLA is working on plans to bus season ticketholders to home games, similar to how students are bused to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for home football games.
The women’s team will play its home games on campus at the Wooden Center next season.
Pauley is set to re-open in time for the 2012-13 season.
The Bruins had considered playing at the Forum in nearby Inglewood, but the Los Angeles Lakers’ old arena became unavailable after it was sold to Madison Square Garden.
Staples Center, home of the Lakers and the Kings, was ruled out because the NBA and NHL schedules aren’t released until mid-July, and it would be too late in the decision process.
A survey of season ticket holders said the majority preferred playing games in the Los Angeles area, with some in Orange County if they were played on weekends.