California’s renovated Memorial Stadium has passed its first test and now the Golden Bears are ready to see it filled up on game day.
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The players practiced running onto the field for pregame introductions Tuesday night, there were test runs for the lighting, the PA system, clocks and concession stands, and even the band was on hand.
”Taking the field we had the smoke and all of that and we ran through it,” coach Jeff Tedford said Wednesday. ”It had a game feel to it actually. People were anxious. Even walking on the field I had butterflies a little bit walking out there. It’s just a feel walking out to the stadium the way we always do it. It was exciting.”
Tedford said the only glitch were some problems with the play clock but nothing that should stop the $321 million seismic retrofit and renovation from being ready for the opener against Nevada on Sept. 1.
The Bears have already had a couple of practices at the new stadium and will be in there all next week to get ready for the season opener.
It will be the first game on campus since 2010. Cal played last season at the San Francisco Giants’ home, AT&T Park, across San Francisco Bay.
”I heard more than once a lot of people saying, `It’s great to be home, great to be back in here,”’ Tedford said.
The stadium, which was built in 1923, underwent a complete overhaul after the 2010 season. Everything but the outer facade and the seating bowl on the east side of the stadium was rebuilt from the ground up to make the stadium, which is on an earthquake fault, safer and more modern.
The stadium is attached to a new $150 million High Performance Center that has given Cal state-of-the-art facilities that were much needed.
”It feels like the same place, just a few more bells and whistles it seems like to me,” Tedford said.
NOTES: Cal released its first depth chart of fall camp with two true freshmen in starting roles. Bryce Treggs is listed as a starting receiver and Cole Leininger will be the punter. … LB Khairi Fortt, who transferred earlier this summer from Penn State, is still rehabilitating from offseason knee surgery and won’t be ready to start the season. … Freshman Cedric Dozier, who played receiver and cornerback in high school, has requested a move to defense full time and will redshirt this season.