California Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California. Commonly known as Memorial Stadium, it is the field for the University of California Golden Bears of the Pac-12 Conference. The venue opened in 1923 and currently seats around 63,000 fans for football, the playing field runs NW-SE, at an elevation of 410 feet above sea level, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 27,2006. The stadium is located on the Hayward Fault, which passes directly under the playing field, Memorial Stadium was funded from public contributions, as a memorial to Californians who lost their lives in World War I. The chair of the committee was John Galen Howard, the universitys chief architect. This has earned it a reputation as one of the most scenic venues in college football, 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, in subsequent years, the field was officially named West Field and was expanded to hold around 5,000 spectators. However, by 1904, Californias football team had become so popular that West Field became too small, therefore, California Field opened its doors in 1904 to replace the antiquated West Field and the boosted capacity allowed California to host important games for the first time. The new stadium was located closer to the center of campus and was able to draw unprecedented crowds for the time. California Field is also notable because it is many of Californias longstanding traditions began to take form. In 1910, the first card stunt was performed at the Big Game and after victories, California Field is also where the Golden Bears gained national prominence under head coach Andrew Latham Smith. Four of the Bears five consecutive undefeated seasons were played at California Field, because of this success, it became evident that California needed an even larger venue to host its football team, therefore, the team and its fans began pushing for a new stadium. The early 1920s saw four major collegiate venues open in the State of California, Stanford Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and California Memorial Stadium. One of the first proposals for a new stadium was on the corner of the campus where Edwards Stadium. This proposal was rejected and the regents settled on a site at the mouth of Strawberry Canyon. The location caused controversy, but the popularity of Andy Smiths Wonder Teams prevailed. WIth the funding secured, the university broke ground in January 1923 hoping to open the new stadium in time for the 1923 Big Game. Both teams were having a season in 1923 with California going undefeated up to that point
California Memorial Stadium from the southwest corner in January 2008.
Memorial Stadium supporting columns diverging due to fault creep
California Memorial Stadium during the 2012 football season.