Concept

California Memorial Stadium

Summary
California Memorial Stadium also known simply and commonly as Memorial Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium on the west coast of the United States, located on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley, California. It is the home field for the California Golden Bears of the Pac-12 Conference. Opened in 1923, the venue currently seats around 63,000 for football; its playing field runs northwest to southeast at an approximate elevation of above sea level. It has been named one of the top college football stadiums by various publications, and it was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on November 27, 2006. Memorial Stadium was funded from public contributions, as a memorial to Californians who lost their lives in World War I (1917–18). The chair of the architectural committee was John Galen Howard, the university's chief architect, and his influence is evident in the stadium's neoclassical motif. In addition to its unique architecture, the stadium's position at the foot of the Berkeley Hills provides top row spectators with panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and west side viewers with views of the Berkeley Hills and Strawberry Canyon. This has earned it a reputation as one of the most scenic venues in college football. Traditionally, during all football games and especially during the Big Game against Stanford, the hill overlooking the eastern side of Memorial Stadium attracts spectators hoping to watch a game for free, earning the nickname "Tightwad Hill". On February 14, 1885, the first football game was played on the University of California campus between the hometown Bears and a football club from San Francisco known as the Merions. The field was located where the Valley Life Sciences Building currently stands (), and the game drew some 450 spectators. In subsequent years, the field was officially named West Field and seating capacity was expanded to around 5,000. However, by 1904, California's football team had become so popular that West Field became too small, therefore, the university decided to build a new stadium with an excess of 20,000 seats.
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