California's Memorial Stadium opened in 1923 and is in bad need of repairs. The 72,516-seat venue sits on the Hayward Fault and a seismic safety study gave the stadium a "poor" rating. Expansion joints have been put in the walls to maintain the integrity of the facility, which represents an "appreciable life hazard."
It's going to cost more than $250 million to seismically upgrade the crumbling 86-year-old stadium, and Cal fans are being asked to fork over big, big bucks to pay for the upgrade.
A program similar to personal seat license plans used by many professional teams will require about 3,000 fans whose season tickets are between the 30-yard lines on the stadium's west side to pay up to $225,000 just for the right to purchase season seats. If they decline to participate, they'll have to give up their seats.
Of the 3,000 seats, there are 144 priced at $225,000, and 115 of them already have been sold, with several fans already writing checks for $900,000, which buys four seats in what is being called the University Club section.
Membership benefits include 50-year rights to the seat, including season tickets, on-campus parking on game days, free food and drinks, including beer and wine, cup holders and other perks.
Other University Club seats are priced at $200,000 and $175,000. Stadium Club seats go for $125,000, $100,000 and $75,000, and Field Level Club seats are priced at $60,000, $50,000 and $40,000. Fans can pay a one-time upfront fee, or in installments of five or 30 years. The installment programs are accompanied by a 6% "administrative fee."
The university plans to begin renovations in late 2010, requiring the team to play the 2011 season at either Candlestick Park or the Oakland Coliseum, and reopen in time for kickoff, 2012.
Rival Stanford has no personal seat programs, but fans must pay an extra $500 to $2,000 a year to sit between the 45-yard lines.
"They're asking $225,000? And they give us crap for being elitists," Stanford's director of tickets, Rich Muschell, said. "How 'bout those Bears."