Media Advisory: Memorial Stadium news conference with tours

ATTENTION: Print, online and broadcast reporters covering higher education, sports, local news

WHAT: A news conference at California Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley. It will include tours of the facility, which reopens for its first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 1, after a major $321 million seismic retrofit and renovation.

WHEN: The news conference will be at 1 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 24. Two tour times will be offered — at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. — for credentialed reporters. To sign up for a stadium tour, RSVP to Beth Nitzberg in the Office of Public Affairs at bnitzberg@berkeley.edu by noon on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Hard-soled shoes and long pants are advised for those taking tours.

WHERE: The stadium’s new Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza. The news conference will be held under a large canopy on the south end of the plaza, and the tours will leave from that vicinity. The entrance to the plaza is at the top of the stairway from Piedmont Avenue adjacent to International House. Due to final construction activities, access is not available from the north end.

Parking suggestions include Witter Rugby Field and Underhill Garage. Large TV trucks will fit only at Witter, which is outdoors. Those who park at Witter should walk around the east rim of the stadium to Prospect Street and the entrance to the plaza; access through the stadium is not allowed.

For more information, visit berkeley.edu/map. A parking specific map is online at http://pt.berkeley.edu/sites/pt.berkeley.edu/files/content/NewPadMap2011.pdf.

WHO: Speakers at the news conference will be:

  • Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
  • George Breslauer, executive vice chancellor and provost
  • John Wilton, vice chancellor for administration and finance
  • Edward Denton, vice chancellor for facilities services
  • Sandy Barbour, director of Cal Athletics
  • Jeff Tedford, head coach of Cal football

DETAILS: The historic stadium, which opened in November 1923 and was designed by John Galen Howard to resemble the Roman Colosseum, was closed in December 2010 for a massive renovation project, the core of which was a seismic retrofit. All but the outer façade and the eastern seating bowl was rebuilt from the ground up. The novel design included a unique blend of UC Berkeley researchers’ academic knowledge about earthquakes and the expertise of practicing engineering and architectural professionals hired to do the work.

In addition to being safe and state-of-the-art, the modern stadium will wow fans with amenities including new aluminum bleachers, new concession stands and restrooms, improved sightlines, permanent stadium lights, a wider concourse and a rooftop plaza entrance to the stadium.

NOTE: On Thursday, a video news release about the stadium will be issued by UC Berkeley Media Relations. More news about the stadium’s reopening will be available online on Friday afternoon on the UC Berkeley NewsCenter at http://news.berkeley.edu/.