Golden Nuggets: Stadium Renovation Plan

Yesterday the UC Regents officially approved the retrofit plan for Memorial Stadium.  Here is a look at what will happen in and around Memorial during that time.

The primary effort on the west side of Memorial Stadium will address the need to significantly reduce seismic risk and ensure life safety for daily occupants, as well as for the hundreds of thousands of fans who attend games every year. The improvements will bring the stadium, which hosted its first game on Nov. 24, 1923 - a 9-0 victory over Stanford in the Big Game - to a level comparable to other major Division I programs while respecting the architecture and character of the structure by preserving the integrity of the western façade and bowl shape. When it reopens, Memorial Stadium's capacity will be reduced from 71,799 to 62,717.

When Memorial Stadium reopens in the fall of 2012, Golden Bear fans will notice a significant number of improvements to the facility, including three club levels for those participating in the ESP program, a new press box, wider concourses, and more restrooms and concession stands. Donor seating areas outside the ESP area will feature wider seats and greater leg room than in the current configuration.

Site preparation activity is scheduled to begin this summer with utilities work, reinforcement of the west wall and limited demolition of interior spaces. Major construction is slated to start at the end of the 2010 football season will be on a 20-month schedule to complete the project in time for the 2012 campaign. The Golden Bears will play at the stadium in 2010, then move elsewhere in 2011. Negotiations are underway to secure a suitable Bay Area venue for the 2011 season.

While construction is taking place, the Cal football team, members of Cal's Olympic sports teams currently based in the facility and other daily users of Memorial Stadium will relocate into temporary quarters that will be located primarily in the Strawberry Canyon area next to Witter Rugby Field. In the coming months, these temporary facilities will be placed on the parking lot adjacent to Witter Field and the Strawberry Canyon Recreation Center. In addition, modernized lighting will be installed in place of the current system that will reduce nighttime glare into the Panoramic Hill Neighborhood.

The renovation and retrofit of California Memorial Stadium - part of the SAFER program, the on-going, campus-wide seismic improvement plan - is necessary due to seismic deficiencies in the Stadium. According to David Friedman, a senior principal at San Francisco-based Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc., and the lead engineer for the project, these deficiencies require a full seismic upgrade of the western half of the stadium bowl. The additional engineering challenge in strengthening Memorial Stadium is created by the fact that it is situated directly over the active northern segment of the Hayward Fault. As the fault has the potential for rupturing and displacing during an earthquake, portions of Memorial Stadium that are directly over the fault require a unique retrofit to address possible surface rupture and displacement, in addition to that which is necessary for strong earthquake ground shaking.

After the jump a new, more intense preseason begins for football, Cal shows up in Miller's top-10 lists, Kiper looks ahead to the 2011 NFL draft, and more.

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