Cal Athletics to Examine Crowd Control Measures at Memorial Stadium
Oct. 5, 2009
Dear Cal Football Fans:
During Saturday's Cal football game against USC, we know that many of you who attended had an unfortunate and unexpected gameday experience due to the long lines and congestion throughout much of Memorial Stadium. I want to apologize and, at the same time, make sure we move quickly to understand exactly what went wrong and let you know about the steps being taken to address it.
We have almost three weeks before our next home game against Washington State on Oct. 24, and with the help of the UC Police Department and other experts, we will be working diligently to improve pedestrian flow and crowd control.
An immediate review after the game found that almost half the crowd entered the stadium through just two gates - Gates 1 and 2 - near the north side of the stadium. The resulting bottleneck caused lines to back up, especially on the concourse level. Similar problems occurred in other areas of the stadium, as well.
We take your safety seriously and many valuable lessons were learned at the game. We did have additional staff placed in the concourse to assist with crowd control, but obviously it wasn't enough, and we need to do a better job of monitoring and directing traffic.
Entering this fall, we knew that the potential for increased congestion in and around Memorial Stadium existed, and we worked with campus and city safety and security personnel to develop an access plan to help fans navigate around the High Performance Center construction zone. Although we had few issues the first two contests, the USC game clearly showed that we need to evaluate the plan's effectiveness. The full release can be found by clicking here (Stadium Access Plan).
With construction of the Student-Athlete High Performance Center and the planned renovation of the stadium, we are well on our way to creating a better gameday experience for all. However, I will continue to do everything possible to minimize the impact of construction on some of the best days we have together as a Cal community. We will distribute our revised plan as soon as we fully identify and make the necessary improvements in our operations.
Thank you for your passionate support of our campus and Cal Athletics.
Director of Athletics