Nov 9, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; General view of California Golden Bears players entering Memorial Stadium through plumes of smoke before the game against the Southern California Trojans. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
CAL GOLDEN BEARS (Memorial Stadium)
If you thought ASU’s project was spendy, California spent $321,000,000 on their reconstruction and renovation of Memorial Stadium, mostly due to the uniqueness of the project.
The completed goal for the project included things that many other stadiums aren’t necessarily looking for in renovation, including lowering the field to improve sight-lines for the lower seats and actually removing and completely restoring the perimeter of the entire building to match the original look and texture of the facade. On the outside at least, this wasn’t so much about futuristic upgrading of the look as much as honoring the past and actually bringing back what it was originally meant to be.
Inside the stadium, more unique ideas had to be implemented to allow the stadium to shift, rock and actually safely separate at points in the event of an earthquake, because the stadium sits directly on a fault-line. This is where much of the cost comes from and the Bears had to play a season in San Francisco to make it happen. A new press box and gold aluminum seating to replace unfathomably old wooden seating were also added, along with video boards.
For more on what it’s like to take in a game at the new Memorial, take a look at Caleb’s review from last season’s WSU vs Cal game. I don’t think of it as a ‘gem’ per se, but as far as clean and mint condition stadiums go, this is right up there.