New Playing Surfaces for the Bears at Memorial Stadium, Haas Pavilion

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By Cal Athletics
Posted Jun 8, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017 BearInsider.com


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BERKELEY -As part of Cal's transition to its new partnership with Under Armour, facilities across campus are receiving upgrades, including California Memorial Stadium and Haas Pavilion.
Among the most highly visible projects are new playing surfaces at both Haas and Memorial. Construction on the new court concluded last week, while work on the new field in Strawberry Canyon is in its final stages.

At Memorial Stadium, each end zone has been branded with Cal's new Sather Stripe design and font using the traditional California and Golden Bears wordmarks, while a gold script Cal returns across the 50-yard line. Fans will also notice a distinct jagged mark running along opposite corners of the field, just outside the playing area, designed to represent a fault line in recognition of the facility's unique location directly above the Hayward Fault. The fault line design has not yet been installed but will be added in the coming days.

A dark green surface of FieldTurf, voted the top artificial surface by the NFLPA for 10 consecutive years, replaced the stadium's previous turf. The new synthetic turf is used by 22 NFL teams and a majority of the Pac-12's football programs. Construction began on May 13 directly following graduation and will be completed this weekend.

At Haas Pavilion, home to both the men's and women's basketball programs as well as volleyball and men's and women's gymnastics, the first-grade maple now displays the traditional Cal script logo at center court. The old maple wood surface was used for 17 seasons, reaching the end of its functional lifespan. The Sather Stripe makes an appearance on both baselines, as does the new font, again spelling out California and Golden Bears.

The upgrades were paid for with a transition bonus from Under Armour, which allows for Cal to update playing surfaces and additional venue signage without being charged against the athletic department's operating budget. Cal and Under Armour launched their 10-year partnership on June 1.

"All of our student-athletes who use both California Memorial Stadium and Haas Pavilion will appreciate the new state-of-the art surfaces, while we expect fans will like the traditional designs enhanced with a few modern touches," Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Operating Officer Chris Pezman said. "Our agreement with Under Armour helped make these upgrades possible, and they act as another step toward improving the gameday experience for everyone who visits our venues."

Also notable at Memorial Stadium is the disappearance of the Kabam logos on the field and around the facility. Kabam, Inc., which has had field naming rights at the stadium for the past three football seasons, recently sold a majority of its assets and changed the direction of its corporate strategy. As a result, Cal and Kabam have mutually agreed to end their naming rights partnership, and Kabam has executed its contractual buyout provision for one-third of the remaining value of the agreement with Cal.

"I'd like to thank CEO Kevin Chou and Kabam for their partnership with our department and campus," Director of Athletics Mike Williams said. "Our relationship extended beyond the written agreement, as Kevin's roots with the University run very deep, from his days as a business student to currently serving as a trustee for the UC Berkeley Foundation."

Cal and Kabam initially announced a 15-year, $18 million partnership in December 2013 for naming rights to the field at Memorial Stadium. At the time, it was the largest field naming rights agreement in college athletics.

"We plan to start looking for a new naming rights partner immediately," Williams said. "While we don't have a timeline yet, we will be seeking a partner that matches the values of both our campus and our athletic department."

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