As part of its goal to diversify revenue, UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium will soon begin renting to new tenants and expanding events to include weddings.
On Wednesday evening, Memorial Stadium showcased multiple venues in an open house, which drew about 200 guests. Broadcasting the stadium’s potential — with raffles, live music and sample catering — is the latest iteration of a plan to transform the stadium into a multi-use facility to offset a debt left by renovations to the stadium, completed in 2012.
Since the end of fiscal year 2013, Memorial Stadium welcomed new rental opportunities, which included the Berkeley-Haas Innovation Lab and a recreational sports fitness location open to Recreational Sports Facility members.
The UC Berkeley Visitor Services staff, the Goldman School of Public Policy’s development and public affairs staff and its executive education program and some doctoral students are the next to move in.
“This will increase activity on the east side of campus and kind of tie the stadium closer to campus activities,” said Christine Shaff, communications director for the campus real estate division. “There will be students who get to use (the stadium) as part of their learning.”
In addition to new tenants and event rentals, a 15-year, $18-million naming rights deal was made with the Bay Area-based video game company Kabam, which is now the name of the field in Memorial Stadium.
Ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per four hours, the available venues to rent include the Field Club and Mezzanine, Stadium Club, University Club and Chancellor’s Box.
Memorial Stadium event coordinators have been actively promoting the event space and have hosted 120 events ranging from corporate parties to a UC Berkeley alum’s 80th birthday.
“The expanded use of the facility will energize the stadium 365 days a year instead of the seven game days a year,” said Shaff.
The first wedding, between two Cal students who won a package deal in an RSF holiday auction, is planned for May 31.
Typical wedding packages open to the public are priced around $15,000, which includes the space and food and accommodates about 100 people, according to Patrice Thomas, Cal Dining brand strategy and marketing manager.
“Memorial Stadium is the best-kept secret in the East Bay at a reasonable price,” said Elisa Smith, associate director of communications for student affairs.