Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How We Almost had a Bel~Air Adjacent Football Stadium


The Los Angeles Times published a very interesting article on how UCLA almost built a massive college Football Stadium in 1966 in the location of UCLA's current Drake Stadium.


From the article by Jerry Crowe:

Talk of an on-campus stadium has rekindled over the years, but hopes realistically were extinguished 44 years ago.

Residents of the affluent surrounding communities, mindful of the noise and traffic congestion football Saturdays would bring to the area, were dead set against a large Westwood stadium.

And more important, suggests former UCLA administrator John Sandbrook, they had two powerful, motivated allies aiding them in their anti-stadium stance: then-Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown and University of California regent Dorothy Chandler.

Brown, bracing for a 1966 reelection campaign against Ronald Reagan, had no interest in alienating deep-pocketed supporters in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills and Westwood.

Chandler, mother of then-Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler and wife of former Times publisher Norman Chandler, may have felt indebted to homeowners in the area whose financial backing helped her get the Music Center built downtown.

The proposal as envisioned by then-chancellor Franklin D. Murphy, Sandbrook notes, was to build a 44,000-seat stadium into the hillside where Drake Stadium now stands -- "in the same manner that Cal's Memorial Stadium was built into a hillside at the base of Strawberry Canyon" in Berkeley.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a 12-year season-ticket holder of UCLA football; the Rose Bowl is fine, but the Bruins need an on-campus football stadium. I think that with the construction of the subway close to the UCLA campus down the road, that is an alternative means of getting fans to the campus and stadium. There must be some way to get everyone on the same page so that this could happen.

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