When last we saw California Memorial Stadium hosting football teams and fans in 2010, it held nearly 72,000 people and was crumbling from decades of neglect. Since then, 31 of its 48 sections have been demolished and are in the process of being rebuilt.
In a previous post, I have discussed the changes in seating capacity brought on by the rebuilding, and how it will change certain aspects of the stadium itself. After the jump, this post will review the 2010 ticketing configuration, discuss changes in the 2012 ticketing configuration, and briefly summarize the losses and gains for each class of tickets.
CALIFORNIA MEMORIAL STADIUM IN 2010
First, it may be helpful to review Cal Memorial's ticketing configuration in 2010. In 2010, there were no sections designated per se as Single Game and Group Ticket seating.
BearBacker donor seats were primarily on the West Side in Sections EE through I.
Sections T & TT on the East Side also were designated donor seating.
Total Seats: 16,038.
Reserved Season Ticket seating was in 16 sections covering three areas:
NE corner - Sections U through WW (6 sections),
NW corner - Sections C through E (5 sections), and
SW corner - Sections I through KK (5 sections).
Total Seats: 18,203.
Gold Zone and Blue Zone seating covered 12 sections:
North End Zone (Gold Zone) - Sections X, XX, and A through BB
Sound End Zone (Blue Zone) - Sections L through NN
Total seats: 17,168.
Young Alumni seating was immediately adjacent to the Student Section on the East Side
Sections Q and QQ (2 sections)
Total seats: 3,463.
Visitors seating was sandwiched between the Young Alumni and the Blue Zone, in the Southeast corner of CMS:
SE corner - Sections O through PP (4 sections).
Total seats: 5,495.
Student Section seating was located on the East Side in Sections R, RR, S, and SS.
Total seats: 6,628.
CALIFORNIA MEMORIAL STADIUM IN 2012
In 2012, there have been a number of changes to the ticketing configuration of Cal Memorial. In the broadest terms:
Donor seating (ESP, Benchbacks, and other donor sections) expanded in area and percentage of stadium capacity (from 22.3% to 24.0%), but decreased in total seating (from 16,038 to 15,063 seats);
Reserved Season Ticket seating was reduced by 60% (from 23,180 to 9,282);
Visitors seating expanded by more than 50% (from 5,495 to 8,275 seats);
Sections designated for Single Game and Group Ticket sales now takes up 14.4% of seating capacity ( a little more than 1 in 7 seats);
The Student Section remains essentially the same but increased as a percentage of the stadium's capacity because the stadium's capacity was reduced.
There are 38,488 seats that could be sold on a season ticket basis (including the Gold Zone). This number excludes the Student Section.
FOUR MAJOR CHANGES
1. Reserved Season Ticket sections with no donation were reduced from 16 to 7 sections. This designation now applies only to Sections D and DD (NW corner); J, JJ, and K (SW corner); Q (SE corner); and UU (NE corner).
to Gold Zone - 4 sections (C, CC, W, and WW)
to Benchback and donor seating - 3 sections (E, II, and U)
to Single Game and Group Ticket sales - 3 sections (KK, V, and VV)
from Young Alumni - 1 section (Q).
Total seats: 9,282 (-13,898 seats)
2. Gold Zone seating has been expanded and the Blue Zone eliminated. Gold Zone is now 10 sections in the North End Zone, centered on the North Tunnel.
Losses (Blue Zone):
to Visitors - 3 sections (MM, N, and NN)
to Single Game and Group Ticket sales - 3 sections (L, LL, and M)
Additions (Gold Zone):
from Reserved Season Ticket (NE corner) - 2 sections (W and WW)
from Reserved Season Ticket (NW corner) - 2 sections (C and CC)
Total seats: 12,412 (-4,756 seats)
3. Visitors section has expanded from 4 to 6 sections. It now includes Sections MM through P.
to Single Game and Group Ticket sales - 1 sections (PP)
from Blue Zone - 3 sections (M, N, and NN)
Total seats: 8,275 (+2,780 seats)
4. Single Game and Group Ticket sales are indicated for Sections KK through M, PP, V, and VV (7 sections). In 2010 there were no sections thus designated.
from Reserved Season Tickets (SW corner) - 1 section (KK)
from Blue Zone (South End Zone) - 3 sections (L, LL, and M)
from Visitors (SE corner) - 1 section (PP)
from Reserved Season Ticket (NE corner) - 2 sections (V and VV)
Total seats: 9,055 (+9,055 seats)
OTHER OBSERVABLE CHANGES IN THE 2012 CONFIGURATION
Young Alumni becomes New Alumni. Two things happened here:
One, the group eligible for this section was reduced from those who graduated in the last ten years to those who graduated in the last five years.
Two, the seats available was also cut in half. However, there is a mitigation: Section Q which had been part of the Young Alumni section, is now a Reserved Season Ticket section with no donation required and is immediately adjacent to the New Alumni Section QQ.
Total seats: 1,731 (-1,732 seats)
Donor seating expanded in area, but lost seating capacity - Donor seating picked up seats in Sections E, II, and U (almost 5,000 seats). Expanded legroom and new wheelchair decks for ESP and Benchback seats in Sections EE through I resulted in losses of close to 6,000 seats. The outside half of Sections E and II as well as all of Section U now carry a $50 donation per seat; in 2010, these sections carried no donation per seat.
Total seats: 15,063; (-975 seats)
Student Section loses BearData tarp - the bottom five rows in Sections S and SS were tarped off with the BearData logo. Opening those seats will result in a net gain of 260 seats.
Total seats: 6,888 (+260 seats)
Sections E and II were split between Benchbacks and donor seating - the most obvious effect is that there is a wall splitting these two sections between Benchback seats (30" legroom) and standard seating (24" legroom).
Sections FF and H were split between ESP and Benchback seating - again, the most obvious effect is that there is a wall splitting these two sections between ESP seats (33" legroom) and Benchback seats (30" legroom). ESP seats also have access to club areas not available to Benchbacks or other seating areas in the stadium.
In sum, Cal Memorial loses about 9,266 seats and has greatly reduced the seats available on a season ticket basis, while creating a series of sections specifically for Single Game and Group Ticket sales. Hopefully, this will result in consistently large crowds from 2012 and well on into the future.