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Let’s talk about moving Memorial Stadium

Janice Thomas
Sunday September 29, 2002

To the Editor: 

Is it politics or just common sense to “consider” relocating the stadium? Might the university's biggest revenue-generator benefit from a more user-friendly location that is less constrained by proximate residences? Would natural resources in Strawberry Canyon and historic resources in surrounding neighborhoods be better protected by a different campus use at the mouth of the canyon? Might an infusion of faculty housing improve traffic for everyone while reducing parking demand and enhancing quality of life for faculty? Might the old stadium be fit enough to meet another demand, i.e. for intramural and recreational purposes?  

Instead of a communitywide discussion to this effect, university administrators have stated their intentions to retrofit the 72-year-old stadium with the assumption the concrete structure will carry the Cal Bears into the 22nd century. Meanwhile, housing density in adjacent areas increases, and will continue to increase, during the stadium's lifetime.  

Also, there are numerous hazards with the current location, all of which interact dynamically to potentiate existing dangers. Among these are the following: 

n The Hayward Fault bisecting the stadium lengthwise.  

n The location of the stadium at a virtual dead-end with no eastern egress except for Centennial Drive. 

n The possible evacuation of 75,000 spectators which would interfere with emergency response to the area. 

n The proximity of a state-designated critical fire zone.  

Although the Panoramic Hill Association has not taken a position as to relocating the stadium, there are many good reasons to have a communitywide discussion about just that. It is neither “preposterous” nor “pie in the sky” to do so. One could easily lob back that it would be preposterous to not do so.  


Janice Thomas 

PHA president