Why is Cal playing the game at Levi’s Stadium? There are several reasons Cal is playing this home game against Oregon next fall at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. We believe the game provides exceptional opportunity for our student-athletes, alumni, students and fans to be some of the first to experience the new venue, one that will soon play host to a Super Bowl. With the game scheduled to be on a Friday night, moving the game allows new Chancellor Nicholas Dirks time to fully engage with faculty, staff, students and the surrounding community on how best to manage weeknight games on campus. Last year’s Friday night game vs. Washington created a number of challenges, particularly around parking and traffic for those who live, work and attend school in the University area and our fans coming to the game. In addition, due to the unique characteristics of playing the game at Levi’s Stadium, the athletic department is expected to earn as much as a seven-figure dollar increase in incremental net revenue relative to a home game.
Why is Cal playing Oregon at Levi’s Stadium and not the Big Game? When we considered moving the 2014 Big Game to Levi’s Stadium over the summer, we undertook a detailed analysis of a wide range of factors. What we said then remains true today: our goal is to provide the best experience for our student-athletes. That principle can take many forms — improved or new facilities, academic encouragement and reinforcement, outstanding coaches and support staff, and innovative high-performance programs. We also deeply respect and value our community of loyal supporters and always consider their interests when analyzing any endeavor. The fact that the upcoming game against Oregon will be on a Friday night, and not a Saturday, played a very large role. We also believe that our student-athletes and fans will enjoy the experience offered at Levi’s Stadium. In order to support our 29-sport program, we will continue to be entrepreneurial and explore new opportunities as well new sources of revenue to best position our teams for success.
What factors did you consider before deciding to play the game at Levi’s Stadium? Among the factors we analyzed were the student-athlete and fan experience, financial implications (both long-term and short-term), the gameday and on-campus environment for our fans, and the challenges of hosting a Friday game in Berkeley. The new stadium in Santa Clara is accessible by both freeway and public transit, which provides a number of options for our fans to travel to the stadium. For example, there are about 21,000 parking spaces within walking distance of the facility. In addition, we have nearly 100,000 alumni who live in the South Bay, and holding the game at Levi’s Stadium gives them a chance to watch the Bears in person that they may not normally have.
Why is Cal playing a Friday night game again? Under the current Pac-12 media rights agreement, each conference school will host a weeknight game two times in a three year period. Cal played its first weeknight game on campus on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, vs. Washington. The Cal vs. Oregon contest will be televised nationally by either ESPN or FOX, with the network to be designated at a later date.
Why do weeknight games pose a problem in Berkeley?
Weeknight night games at Memorial Stadium have presented a particular challenge when school is in session with more than 35,000 students on campus. A lack of available nearby parking for fans has created heavier traffic in the area and an increased reliance on public transportation and other off-campus parking options. Last year, campus parking permits were honored in all University lots to maintain a regular schedule for faculty, staff and students, and spaces were not held for football ticket holders as they are for Saturday games. The game also forced early street closures around the stadium before the end of the work day to handle the large gameday crowd.
What can be done to make sure that Friday games return to Berkeley in the future? That is precisely the question that new Chancellor Dirks wants to study and answer, and he is committed to fully engaging with members of the university and surrounding community to ensure that weeknight games are managed as well as possible. Chancellor Dirks is supportive of Cal Athletics and Cal football and wants to find a solution that works. Before Cal is scheduled to hold another weeknight football game in Berkeley, the University will look at how these games impact the campus and what steps can be taken to make them more enjoyable and accessible to fans while preserving a full day of instruction, study, research and work for faculty, staff and students.
What accommodations are you making for students? Cal students can purchase tickets at a considerable discount with the price set at $15 (plus a $4 ticket fee), which is well below the $100 face value of each ticket. In addition, we are working on a plan to offer free transportation for students from Berkeley to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Although the game will be off-campus, it is important for our students to have an enjoyable and engaging experience at the game. Their support is a critical part of our gameday atmosphere.
What will be the cost of tickets for the game? Tickets will be offered at a significant discount to season-ticket holders and Cal students. Cal season-ticket holders will have the opportunity to opt-in to purchase seats to the Cal-Oregon game in addition to the six-game home package.
The face value for tickets sold to the non-season-ticket holders will range from $80-110 based on location within Levi’s Stadium. For Cal season-ticket holders, the price will range from $59 on the sidelines to $40 in the upper end zones – a comparable amount compared to pricing at Memorial Stadium. Cal students will have the ability to purchase end-zone seats for just $15 ($100 face value). All tickets will be subject to a $4 ticket fee.
How will my seat location be determined? Seating location within each selected price level is based on priority point level and will be allocated prior to the game.
How much will parking be for the game? General parking will cost $30 per car. More than 21,000 parking spaces are located within a short walking distance from the stadium. In addition, nearby transit access includes service from buses, VTA light rail, ACE trains and AMTRAK. We will have additional information on how to purchase permits in the spring of 2014.
Can I purchase a suite for the game? Anyone interested in reserving a suite for the game should contact Greg Kish at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 579-4411.
I’m an ESP participant. How will my seats be determined? All ESP members will receive complimentary game tickets and parking equal to the number of ESP seats and parking passes in the members account in the following locations:
University Club - All inclusive club, closest parking lot
Stadium Club - All inclusive club, next closest parking lot
Field Club - Sideline Club, next closest parking lot
University and Stadium Club members will receive a similar club experience, with all-inclusive food and beverage. Field Club members will receive club access, but will continue to pay for food and beverage as at Memorial Stadium.
How much money will the game produce for the athletic department? The unique characteristics of playing the Cal-Oregon game at Levi’s Stadium are expected to produce as much as a seven-figure dollar increase in incremental net revenue for the athletic department relative to a home game.
Will Cal consider other games at Levi’s Stadium? We have no current plans to play additional games at Levi’s Stadium. However, we will continue to assess opportunities and under the right circumstances, could pursue partnering with the San Francisco 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority again.
Will the Cal Band perform? Yes, the Cal Band and all spirit groups will perform as they normally do for a Cal home game in Memorial Stadium.
What can you tell me about Levi’s Stadium? Levi’s Stadium is scheduled to open for the 2014 football season as the new home for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. The $1.2 billion facility seats 68,500 and will be the site for Super Bowl L in 2016, as well as for the annual Fight Hunger Bowl beginning next year. Fans will be treated to the next generation stadium experience with nine club areas, large open plazas, and a robust mobile experience that will allow them to navigate the building with ease and order merchandise, food and beverage from their own personal devices and have it delivered to their seat.
When will we know the full schedule for next year? We have three previously announced games on the schedule – Aug. 30 at Northwestern, and home games vs. Sacramento State on Sept. 6 and vs. BYU on Nov. 29 – in addition to the Oct. 24 game vs. Oregon. The remainder of the conference schedule will be announced by the Pac-12 Conference just after the start of the New Year. In all, Cal will host six games on campus in 2014, including Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
Will tickets to the Oregon game be part of my season tickets? We are giving season-ticket holders the choice to opt-in for tickets for the Oregon game in addition to the six-game home-game package. Season-ticket holders will receive as much as a 50% discount off the face value of tickets to the Oregon game.
When will tickets be available? The season-ticket renewal period for Cal football begins on Dec. 16 when 2013 ticket holders can purchase seats for next season. At that time, they will also have the option to buy tickets to the Cal-Oregon matchup. Additional information for individual tickets will be available after details are finalized. For questions, fans are encouraged to contact the Cal customer service team at (800) GO BEARS (462-3277) or by visiting here.