New Cal Memorial Stadium Opens for 2012 Season

Matt Metheny

The University of California, Berkeley recently finished a new $321 million football stadium which took two years to complete. Memorial stadium was modernized, and many changes were made while still maintaining its historic structure.

This is the Cal football team’s first season in the renovated stadium. Fans were excited and couldn’t wait for the first game in the renovated Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1, 2012. Although Cal lost the game against Nevada, fans were pleased with the updated venue.

“It was one of the most exciting games I have ever been to. The stadium looked so nice,” junior Mac Watson said.

The renovation highlights include a modernized interior, additional restrooms and concession areas along the western side, state of the art scoreboards with enhanced video, bench back seating, old wooden benches  replaced with aluminum bleachers throughout the stadium, new artificial turf, and a 34,000 square foot press box on top of the western side.

The capacity of the stadium was reduced from 71,799 seats to 63,000. The outer part of the stadium was repainted but the original outer walls remain.

“The seats were a lot more comfortable to sit in and I enjoyed the new scoreboards,” Watson said.

The stadium was not only renovated to modernize it, but for the sake of earthquake safety as well. With the Hayward fault cutting through the middle of the stadium, it has always been a concern that the stadium could collapse during an earthquake. Concrete seismic blocks were inserted at the end zone where the Hayward fault bisects the stadium, making the structure more able to withstand an earthquake.