KABAM FIELD at CALIFORNIA MEMORIAL STADIUM
Since it opened in the fall of 1923, California Memorial Stadium has produced scores of unforgettable memories for generations of Golden Bears. From the Wonder Teams of the 1920s to the Pappy Waldorf years mid-century to recent success that has yielded eight bowl teams since 2003, the facility has treated fans of all ages to many of the greatest moments in the history of Cal football. Memorial Stadium stands as one of the most enduring symbols of the University of California campus and has served as a gathering point for students, alumni, faculty, staff and other supporters for more than 90 years.
The site features a plush wall of pine trees in the Berkeley Hills to the east contrasted by a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay Area and three bridges to the west. Designed by world-renowned architect John Galen Howard and co-designers G.F. Buckingham and E.E. Carpenter, the stadium is a tribute to their architectural talents, skills that were years ahead of their time. Fans who attend games today still marvel at the beauty of the structure, modeled after the Colosseum in Rome, and comment about the easy viewing for spectators from all angles within the stadium.
The stadium was completed in time for the Big Game of 1923 at a total cost of $1,437,982. Included in the initial construction were 12,000 barrels of cement, 1.1 million feet of lumber for concrete forms, 8,000 cubic yards of rock, 4,000 cubic yards of sand, 600 tons of steel and 800,000 feet of premium lumber, which was used for seating.
In December 2010, California Memorial Stadium began a 21-month renovation to bring the facility up to modern standards and create a seismically safe environment for years to come. The result is a state-of-the-art venue that meets the needs of fans, student-athletes, coaches and anyone else paying a visit to Strawberry Canyon.
Overall, construction impacted about 60 percent of the stadium, primarily on the west side where the structure was above ground and required seismic upgrading. Among the highlights of the project were wider concourses and new restrooms, new wheelchair seating and improved access throughout the stadium, restoration of the historic façade, a modern press box, and three club levels for participants in the Endowment Seating Program. The total cost of the renovation was $321 million.
Among the final renovations completed at California Memorial Stadium, Hellas Constructions manufactured Matrix® Turf exclusively for the California Golden Bears. In addition to Football, the innovative turf system supports the Golden Bears and various other teams on a year-round basis.
The project team was led by HNTB Architecture and STUDIOS Architecture, with Forell/Elsesser, Inc., serving as structural engineer and Webcor Builders as the general contractor. The renovation included 50,000 cubic yards of concrete and 14 million pounds of steel to reinforce it.
Originally dedicated to Californians who gave their lives in the World War, California Memorial Stadium reopened in 2012 and was rededicated to all Californians who have sacrificed their lives in service to the nation.
On Dec. 5, 2013, Cal and Kabam, Inc., announced a 15-year partnership that would rename the field Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.
Cal, Kabam Form 15-Year Partnership