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Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium

Berkeley, CA

Home of the California Golden Bears

3.7

3.5

Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium (map it)
76 Canyon Road
Berkeley, CA 94704


California Golden Bears website

Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium website

Year Opened: 1923

Capacity: 62,467

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Big Bowl in Berkeley

Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium opened in 1923, and currently has a capacity of 62,467. Originally dedicated to those who lost their lives in WWI, the stadium was re-dedicated in 2012 to all those who sacrificed their lives in defense of the nation. Kabam, Inc. acquired the naming rights to the field itself in 2013.

California Memorial Stadium is a true bowl, and was most recently renovated in 2010-2012, with improvements that include wider concourses, new restrooms, improved access throughout the stadium, restoration of the historic façade along the exterior of the venue, a new press box, and the addition of three club levels.

3.7

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

California Memorial Stadium has everything you could expect from a sports venue in terms of concessions, with a wide variety of different food items, including a good selection of healthy options. The prices are a little on the high side and I'm not sure they have anything on the menu that is classically Californian.

Main dishes include all of the staples such as pizza, hot dogs, corn dogs, hot links, Polish and chicken apple sausage, burgers, chicken tenders, pulled pork, barbecue chicken, barbecue rib tips, wings, upscale chicken, turkey, and roast beef sandwiches, plus chicken wraps, veggie wraps, hummus with chips, and salads. These items cost between $5 and $12, and some selections include waffle fries. Personally I recommend the chicken apple sausage, which has great flavor and comes on a soft sourdough roll.

In addition to the huge selection of main dishes, there are also plenty of snack items and side dishes, such as waffle fries, chili cheese fries, garlic fries, cheese fries, pretzels, nachos, numerous varieties of popcorn (including kettle corn), peanuts, jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, corn bread mini muffins, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, chips, yogurt parfaits, fruit cups, trail mix, and yogurt, as well as cotton candy, packaged candy, ice cream bars and sandwiches, Ben & Jerry's pints, funnel cake, and churros. These items run as little as $2 for chips, to as much as $10 for the ice cream pints.

There is no alcohol allowed in the stadium, but drink options do include frozen lemonade, Pepsi products from the fountain or in bottles, bottled water, Naked juice, Gatorade, hot chocolate, and coffee; prices for drinks range from $4 to $7. You can also buy hot dogs from street vendors on the way into the stadium for $5, as well as bottled water or PowerAde for $1-$2, but of course you will have to drink it before you come through the gate.

Once inside California Memorial Stadium, the best place to find concessions is probably between sections F and H on the west side; in this area there are 5-6 different stands right next to each other, so you should easily be able to find something tasty without having to search around much.

Atmosphere    3

California Memorial Stadium is a true bowl, with seating all the way around. Almost all the seats inside the stadium are aluminum benches, but there is a small section of bucket-style chairs beneath the press box. There are scoreboards above each end zone, which are not humongous, but no matter where you sit at least one of them should be in view.

The best place to sit in California Memorial Stadium is probably near one of the corners, which will get you closer to one of the scoreboards. This will also give you a better view of the giant Cal flags they wave throughout the game during breaks in the action - there is one in each corner, handled by a member of the cheer squad dressed in the classic yellow and blue striped long-sleeved shirt with white collar. Lots of fans mirror this look, especially in the student section, so you will see plenty of these shirts in the stands as well.

One of the great features here at California Memorial Stadium is the architecture on the façade - there are arches built all along the exterior wall, which fans can look out from once inside. The upper deck on the west side also offers a pretty good view of the bay, and the east side has a nice view of some wooded areas and hills. In addition, there is lots of activity out on the practice field before the game, including several bouncy houses for the kids, and a giant inflatable football player; the practice field is next to the stadium on the east side. See a video of the architecture and view of the bay here:

Neighborhood    4

Berkeley, California is well-known as a center of social activism, especially in the 1960s and 70s, which at that time included protests related to civil rights, free speech, and the Vietnam War. The city is located on the east shore of San Francisco Bay, and is named after an 18th-century Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher.

California Memorial Stadium itself is located near a somewhat residential district on the east side of Berkeley's campus. There are campus buildings to the west, houses and apartments to the south, and parkland to the north and east. There are only a handful of restaurants within walking distance of the stadium, so most people head over to Shattuck Avenue (on the west edge of campus) to find a bite to eat before or after the game.

Shattuck Avenue is loaded with bars and restaurants to fit all tastes, including brewpubs and a host of different ethnic cuisines, such as Mexican, Cajun, and Mediterranean, as well as all-vegetarian eateries and local haunts that serve classic Californian fare. Two of the most popular destinations are Jupiter and Triple Rock Brewery & Ale House, both of which offer craft brews. Jupiter offers specialty pizza and is a little more sedate, while Triple Rock caters more to students.

Fans    4

Berkeley football games usually draw a good crowd, although generally not quite enough to create a sellout. California Memorial Stadium averages between 45K and 50K attendees per game, or over three-quarters full. The south end especially tends not to fill up, so if you are looking for more elbow room during the game, you may be able to move over there once you get inside. Attendance appears to be highest early in the season, specifically during non-conference games strangely enough, and night games tend to draw fewer fans than day games.

Regardless of the crowd size, however, the student section at California Memorial Stadium cannot fail to impress. Located on the east side of the stadium, you can find many of the students decked out in their classic long-sleeved yellow and blue striped shirts with white collars. You will also find the standard group in the front row with painted chests, which here in Berkeley includes females, a feature that is admirable for its progressiveness.

The most impressive display at California Memorial Stadium, however, is the series of card stunts performed by the students during halftime. If you arrive before kickoff, you will see a design in the seats on the east side of the venue; perhaps the Cal logo overtop an image of the state of California. This may look like a block of portable chair backs, but it is actually thousands of individual sets of cards spread out along the bleachers, and each set includes cards in a variety of colors. During halftime, the students use these cards to make a variety of giant images held up for the crowd to see, for example, their opponent's logo with a red "X" through it, the word "Go," or the Cal logo. The display is very impressive given the sheer number of individual card stunts performed, as well as the use of so many different colored cards.

Access    3

Probably the easiest way to get to California Memorial Stadium is to take BART or the Capitol Corridor Train to downtown Berkeley, and then catch a game day shuttle from Shattuck Avenue. There are also AC Transit buses for those who live in town.

Parking is expensive and hard to find; there are no lots to speak of except for season ticket holders and donors, so if you choose to drive you'll have to find one of the small parking decks near the stadium, or park in someone's yard or driveway, at a minimum of $30. Parking on city streets is prohibited unless you have a neighborhood pass.

Once you get inside the stadium, moving around is easy enough. There are gates on both the east and west sides, and the concourses have wide aisles and plenty of bathrooms and concessions.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets to Cal football games start at $50 if you buy from the ticket office, but you should be able to find them much cheaper (~$20) from scalpers on game day, or through a third party. Using BART or the Capitol Corridor Train instead of driving could also save you some money, and probably won't add much time since you will avoid all the traffic that way.

Extras    3

The series of card stunts performed by the students is really cool, as is the architecture outside the stadium. There is also lots of activity to take in if you arrive early, for example the band marching in, or the fun activities for kids on the practice field outside California Memorial Stadium.

Final Thoughts

Judging by the fact the stadium doesn't usually sell out, there are obviously some other entertainment options in the area. However, this also means you can get cheap tickets, and seeing a game at California Memorial Stadium is definitely a fun experience. You will also get to see some solid opponents from the PAC-12.

Go Bears!

EXTRAS: The "pregame tailgate style event" is on Maxfield Field, a astroturf soccer/field hockey field. It is called "Tailgate Town." The food offerings are good, and several beer booths, but it is pricey. $8 Beers & $10 sandwiches ($8 Burgers & $5 Sodas in the stadium).

by Nor-Cal Scott | Nov 27, 2012 11:18 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Golden Memorial Stadium

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 1

California Memorial Stadium has been the home to the Golden Bears football team since 1923. After spending one season at AT&T Park, the Bears are back in their renovated and retrofitted home in the Berkeley hills.

As part of the renovation, Memorial Stadium reduced its capacity to 63,186 from 71,799, although the stadium had an excess of 80,000 for periods of time earlier in its history. The capacity reduction was only a bi-product of what were necessary renovations. Memorial Stadium lies along the very active Hayward Fault and was causing the old stadium’s foundation to “slip” millimeters, year after year. The renovation allows for this slippage while keeping the seating area safe from collapse.

Of late, Jeff Tedford has come under heightened scrutiny with his under-performing squad combined with the expensive new stadium and the attached student-athlete training facility.

Great Renovations

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

The $321M renovations at California Memorial Stadium are awesome! Grand wide stairs take guests up from street level to the stadium via Gate 1. Upon entering fans can gather at Goldman Plaza where food is available and a Merchandise Tent. Entering the stadium you go up two short flights of stairs and enter the Concourse level. Now 3X as large as before the concourse offers many concession stands, restroom facilities, large TV monitors of the game, and you can hear the radio broadcast of the game. New larger video scoreboards are on both ends, and a "ribbon" scoreboard is on the new westside pressbox slash ESP Club Rooms (Endowment Seat Program = High Dollar Donor Seating).

Note: only 60% of the stadium was remodeled, it is a GIANT misconception that the entire stadium had upgrades. The visitors & student sections (the east & southeast areas, Sections N - VV) still have small concession tents & porta potties.

Parking on campus and in Berkeley is very limited!!! Heavy fines for parking tickets. What little parking there is on campus is sold to long time season ticket holders. It is HIGHLY recommended that you take public transportation to the campus. BART & AC Transit are great alternatives. Check the official Cal Bears website for info on GameDay Shuttles. ie: For a $10 round trip fair you can ride a coach bus from the Rockridge BART to the stadium. Both Rockridge & Downtown Berkeley BART stations have AC Transit stops, and are within walking distance, approx 2 miles & 1 mile uphill respectively.

Nevada vs California

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 1
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

First, I want to say that I grew up going to college football games in the deep south. To compare this experience to the experience of a Southeastern Conference football game would be completely unfair so I will try to mitigate that as much as possible.

Food & Beverage: Like any sporting event, food is a little over-priced but they did have plenty of concession stands and some pretty cool souvenir cups

Atmosphere: I was there for the first game of the newly renovated stadium. The atmosphere on campus before the game was above average considering it was a pretty early game against a lower level opponent. However, the stadium wasn't quite at capacity for kick off and the fans didn't seem to really get into the game. There was a student standing on a platform in front of the student section telling people when to cheer. The whole thing just seemed kind of cheesy to me

Neighborhood: Berkeley is a very unique town with a lot of culture. There's plenty to eat in the local area

Fans: The fans weren't especially loud, although, I don't really blame them as their team wasn't playing especially well. The student section could have been a little more active

Access: I was able to park about a mile away for $20. I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking elsewhere

Return: I got about what I expected in return. Nothing life-changing but it was still entertaining

Extras: A few points here for the beautiful back-drop and the hill on the east side of the stadium where fans can bring a blanket and watch the game outside the stadium for free. A lot of character here

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