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California Memorial Stadium

California Memorial Stadium

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California Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 stadium on the campus of the University of California
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 in Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

. Commonly known as Memorial Stadium, it is the home field for the University of California Golden Bears
California Golden Bears football
The California Golden Bears football team is the college football team of the University of California. The team plays its home games at California Memorial Stadium, however the team played at San Francisco's AT&T Park in 2011 while Memorial Stadium was being renovated, the team will return to...

 of the Pacific-12 Conference. The venue opened in 1923 and seated 71,799 fans until the 2010 football season, making it northern California's largest football stadium in terms of seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

, however, the stadium's capacity is expected to drop to around 63,000 seats after the renovation has been completed in 2012 so it will no longer hold that distinction. It will still be the largest football-only stadium in Northern California because O.co Coliseum and Candlestick Park are both multi-purpose facilities. The stadium was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 on November 27, 2006.

Memorial Stadium was funded from public contributions, as a memorial to Californians who lost their lives in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 (1917–18). The chair of the architectural committee was John Galen Howard
John Galen Howard
John Galen Howard was an American architect.He is best known for his work as the supervising architect of the Master Plan for the University of California, Berkeley campus, and for founding the University of California's architecture program...

, the university's chief architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

, and his influence is evident in the stadium's neoclassical
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 motif. In addition to its unique architecture, the stadium's position at the foot of the Berkeley hills provides top row spectators with panoramic views of San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining from approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean...

 and west side viewers with views of the Berkeley Hills and Strawberry Canyon. This has earned it a reputation as one of the most scenic venues in college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...


Memorial Stadium does not have a running track, so the stands descend right down to the football field (the lowest central seating views on the west side can be blocked by the standing visiting team reserve members). The playing field runs NW-SE, at an elevation of 410 feet (125 m) above sea level. http://msrmaps.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=11&Z=10&X=1413&Y=10479&W=3&qs=%7cBerkeley%7cCA%7c

Traditionally, during all football games and especially during the Big Game
Big Game (football)
The Big Game is an American college football rivalry game played by the California Golden Bears football team of the University of California, Berkeley and the Stanford Cardinal football team of Stanford University. It is typically played in late November or early December...

 against Stanford
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, the hill overlooking the eastern side of Memorial Stadium attracts spectators hoping to watch a game for free, earning the nickname "Tightwad Hill
Tightwad Hill
Tightwad Hill is the popular name for Charter Hill, the hill rising to the east of California Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley. Tightwad Hill is so named as it affords a free view of the stadium's field, allowing fans of the Golden Bears to see the game live, even if the...


Playing surface

Originally a natural grass field, AstroTurf
AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. Although the term is a registered trademark, it is sometimes used as a generic description of any kind of artificial turf. The original AstroTurf product was a short pile synthetic turf while the current products incorporate modern features such as...

 was installed in Memorial Stadium in 1981
1981 in sports
1981 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.-Alpine skiing:* Alpine Skiing World Cup –** Men's overall season champion: Phil Mahre, USA** Women's overall season champion: Marie-Theres Nadig, Switzerland-American football:...

 and remained for 14 seasons. Natural grass returned for the 1995
1995 in sports
1995 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.-Alpine skiing:* Alpine Skiing World Cup** Men's overall season champion: Alberto Tomba, Italy** Women's overall season champion: Vreni Schneider, Switzerland-American football:...

 season, until the 2003
2003 in sports
2003 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.-Alpine skiing:* Alpine Skiing World Cup** Men's overall season championship: Stephan Eberharter, Austria** Women's overall season championship: Janica Kostelić, Croatia-American football:...

 installation of Momentum Turf, a next-generation infilled artificial turf
Artificial turf
Artificial turf is a surface manufactured from synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commercial applications as well...

, similar to FieldTurf
FieldTurf is a brand of artificial turf playing surface. It is manufactured and installed by the FieldTurf Tarkett division of Tarkett Inc., based in Calhoun, Georgia, USA. In the late 1990s, the artificial surface changed the industry with a design intended to replicate real grass...

. http://calbears.cstv.com/facilities/memorial-stadium.html
The Momentum Turf surface allows for minimal maintenance and increased utilization of the stadium, for football practices and other sports, on the space-limited UC-Berkeley campus. After returning to natural turf in 1995, varsity football practices were held at Witter Rugby Field, saving the stadium's grass field for game days only. Memorial Stadium's field is also marked for international soccer, but this allows little reserve room beyond the official lines.

Hayward Fault

The Hayward Fault
Hayward Fault Zone
The Hayward Fault Zone is a geologic fault zone capable of generating significantly destructive earthquakes. This strike-slip fault is about long, situated mainly along the western base of the hills on the east side of San Francisco Bay...

 passes directly under the playing field of Memorial (nearly from goal post to goal post), http://seismo.berkeley.edu/seismo/hayward/ucb_campus.html where right-lateral strike-slip motion is shifting the northeast half of the building to the southwest at a rate of 1.2 mm/yr. Expansion joint
Expansion joint
An expansion joint or movement joint is an assembly designed to safely absorb the heat-induced expansion and contraction of various construction materials, to absorb vibration, to hold certain parts together, or to allow movement due to ground settlement or earthquakes...

s have been placed in the walls of the stadium to maintain the integrity of the building. A 1998
1998 in sports
1998 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.-Alpine skiing:* Alpine Skiing World Cup** Men's overall season champion: Hermann Maier, Austria** Women's overall season champion: Katja Seizinger, Germany-American football:...

 seismic safety study at the Berkeley campus gave the stadium a "poor" rating (meaning that the building represents an "appreciable life hazard" in an earthquake), and estimated the cost of making the structure safe at $14 million.

Phase I - Student Athlete High Performance Center

In February 2005
2005 in sports
2005 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.-Alpine skiing:* Alpine Skiing World Cup** Men's overall season champion: Bode Miller ** Women's overall season champion: Anja Pärson -American football:...

, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau
Robert Birgeneau
Robert Joseph Birgeneau is a Canadian physicist, educator, and university administrator. He is the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and was the fourteenth president of the University of Toronto from 2000 to 2004.-Biography:The first from his family to finish high school,...

 announced plans to renovate Memorial Stadium, improving the existing facilities and creating a safer environment for the fans as well as the people that work at the stadium. Currently many of the university sports teams use offices, locker rooms, and weight rooms in the stadium on a daily basis. Phase I consists of building the 142000 square feet (13,192.2 m²) Student-Athlete High Performance Center next to the west wall of the stadium. Football and 12 of Cal's Olympic sports teams will move into new locker rooms, offices and meeting rooms at the center. Training, sports medicine facilities, and an academic center in the SAHPC will be available to the campus' 450 student-athletes year round. The roof of the athletic center will act as a pedestrian plaza on gamedays. Phase I of the renovations was scheduled to begin the spring and summer of 2006 but was delayed by a court injunction due to three lawsuits against the project. A small group of tree-sitters occupied the oak grove on the west side of the stadium beginning on the "Big Game" day in December 2006
2006 in sports
2006 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.-American football:* January 2, Fiesta Bowl – Ohio State 34-20 Notre Dame* January 2, Sugar Bowl – West Virginia 38-35 Georgia...

. In September 2008 the court injunction was lifted, the protesters came down, and construction of the athletic center began. The SAHPC is expected to open in the fall of 2011.

Phase II - California Memorial Stadium Retrofit and Renovation

On January 19, 2010 the UC Board of Regents approved the retrofit and renovation of California Memorial Stadium. The $321 million project commenced in June 2010 and is expected to be completed in time for the 2012 season. The project will renovate the west side and both end zones. A surface rupture block will be placed in each end zone where the fault line passes through the stadium. These blocks can move independently from the rest of the stadium and will be built on top of three feet of sand and plastic sheets. Expansion joints will be placed between the surface rupture blocks and the rest of the stadium. The west side of the stadium will be demolished and rebuilt except for the outer wall. Club levels, a new press box, bathrooms and concession stands will be added. The Bears will play at AT&T Park
AT&T Park
AT&T Park is a ballpark located in the South Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Located at 24 Willie Mays Plaza, at the corner of Third and King Streets, it has served as the home of the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball since 2000....

 in San Francisco for the 2011 season while the renovations are being made.


The NFL's
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 played their second game of the 1973
1973 NFL season
The 1973 NFL season was the 54th regular season of the National Football League. The season featured O.J. Simpson becoming the first man to rush for 2,000 yards in one season...

 regular season at Memorial Stadium. The game against the defending Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

 champion Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are a Professional football team based in the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The team is part of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 was moved from the Raiders' regular home, the Oakland Coliseum, because of a scheduling conflict with the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

, who hosted the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 at the Coliseum the following night. The Raiders ended the Dolphins' NFL record 18-game winning streak with a 12-7 victory on four field goals by 45-year-old George Blanda
George Blanda
George Frederick Blanda was a collegiate and professional football quarterback and placekicker...

 on September 23. http://www.jt-sw.com/football/pro/results.nsf/Teams/1973-oak

External links