California Field

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California Field
Location Berkeley
Opened 1904
Closed 1922
Owner University of California
Capacity 20,000

California Field was an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley. It served as the home field for the University of California Golden Bears from 1904 through the 1922 season.

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. Before California Field opened, the Bears had played important games (namely the Big Game) at neutral site venues in San Francisco, and with a new 20,000 seat stadium California was able to host the first Big Game played outside of San Francisco. The new stadium was located much closer to the center of campus (where Hearst Gymnasium now stands) and was able to draw unprecedented crowds for the time. California Field is also notable because it is where many of California's longstanding traditions began to take form. In 1910, the first card stunt was performed at the Big Game and after victories, the students would "serpentine" around the field—something that is mentioned in the song "Big C". 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 and housed the stadium was home to three of California's four straight (claimed) national championships. Because of this success, California needed an even larger venue to host its football team, therefore, the team and its fans began pushing for a new stadium.[1]

The stadium also hosted the first ever international rugby matches played by the U.S. national rugby team -- USA v. Australia in 1912 and USA v. New Zealand in 1913, both matches drawing 10,000 fans.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The House that Andy Built: The Making of Memorial Stadium". California Golden Blogs. December 15, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  2. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/team/highest_attendance.html?id=11;type=team