Football: Sandy Barbour responds to BANG story on Memorial Stadium financing status

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour has reponded to BANG staff writer Jon Wilner’s stories last week that detailed the athletic department’s financing of Memorial Stadium renovations and retrofit and the construction of the high-performance training center.

Click here for Wilner’s College Hotline post on the topic with links to his original story, or continue reading for Barbour’s letter to our newspapers:

Overall, Jon Wilner’s series on Cal athletics facilities financing (Page 1C, June 25) offered balanced coverage of a complex topic. I appreciate that the reporting made clear we had no choice when it came to retrofitting Memorial Stadium after members of the UC regents directed the campus to either retrofit or move out. It is also worth noting that we examined the possibility of playing elsewhere, but other venues presented disqualifying financial challenges. Simply retrofitting the stadium, without other improvements, certainly would have lowered the price tag.

However, a retrofit-only project could not have been funded through philanthropy, and using state money or student fees was not an option. So, we went beyond a retrofit and improved the facility with new amenities and premium seating that offer value to donors, fans and sponsors and support seat sales through the Endowment Seating Program. Although that program has yet to live up to our expectations, that does not mean it has failed. Seat sales have already generated sufficient funds to cover interest expenses for approximately 20 years, providing us with ample time to assess and, if needed, adjust a much-improved financial model.

Sandy Barbour
Director of athletics UC Berkeley

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Wow. Reads like a letter someone writes soon before theyre dismissed.

  • rollonubears

    Hope we locked in at a low rate!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    So, the beautifully renovated and upgraded stadium is still standing, right? And this highly anticipated season still starts on August 31st, right??

    So what’s the issue and why should I care? Should I boycott the season because of some daring financial maneuvers by the UC that may or may not pan out? Should I start a savings account that one day may or may not be needed to “Save Memorial Stadium” from the ineptitude of SB and co?

    It seems to me like there is a group of people who will do/say anything to sabotage the work that Barbour did in getting us fans the best “new” stadium in the US. I just don’t get it – I must be missing something, maybe I should care about $$ more?

    Why the hating? The construction is done and the bill will be paid sooner or later. Last I checked they aren’t asking the students to pay a dime for the stadium. If that changes, THEN there is an issue. Until then, so what?

    And because I seem to be missing the point so badly here, I am in all honesty asking someone else who reads this blog to tell me why I should care and why this issue keeps recurring in the media?

    I, for one, cannot wait to be inside the very expensive stadium this fall. The same stadium that my grandpa took my father to see JFK speak, the same stadium that I plan on taking my (future) kids/grandkids to some day.

    Go Bears!

  • rob bear

    Defeat opposing football teams with extreme prejudice and the problem will take care of itself! Go Bears!

    Beat North by Northwestern with EXTREME PREJUDICE and let’s get the season going in the right direction!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Gimme a D, gimme an O, gimme a U, gimme a C, gimme an H, gimme an E.

    What’s that spell?


  • Juancho

    They could go undefeated for the next 5 years, and I still wouldn’t be anywhere near able to afford the ESL seat licenses.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Wisdom/Juancho, hilarious.

  • Juancho

    Anyone have espnu ? Commitments will be announced during the telecast of the opening starts at 6. Hopin at least one picks cal.

  • Crawford

    @BlakeStreetBear Agreed…

    Winning solves a lot of problems

  • Gobears49

    I missed watching the Elite 11 show last night, but I hope to watch it tonight and tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on ESPNU, if my info on it is correct. Rumor has it our whip smart recruit from Arizona, who got into at least one Ivy League school, made the Elite 11. That would get us back to our normal three Elite 11 QB’s on our roster, or maybe that is four. I’m sure we are in the top two universities, along with USC, as having the most Elite 11 QB’s in the last ten years. But that hasn’t produced the W’s that we all want.

  • 707 Bear


    “Why the hating?”

    I don’t see how discussing the “challenges” of the new Memorial is hating. The stadium is part of the program and is as worthy a topic as say the new uniforms or whether Kline will be the QB. It’s all entertainment.

    I like the new Memorial too, but you have to admit that this “situation” may already be being studied in B schools for its FUBAR qualities.

    59 days to Go Bears!!

  • Juancho

    Jaleel wadood commits to cal. Naijiel hale chose arizona. Wadood is the first game changer commit for dykes n co. Very good news. Now we havw one elite commit who will be at all the big time camps and can hopefully recruit his buddies.

  • Wehofx

    Rebenzer looks great!!!
    2 drives = 2 TDs + 2 conversions to 5 diff receivers
    bsb, well said.

  • ConcordBear

    Don’t forget about Jalen Harvey.
    That local stud can ball!!!

  • BlueNGold

    WisCow- it is unfortunate that your stellar Berkeley education did not teach you how to express disagreement with someone without succumbing to the need to resort to sleazy name calling. Even SB gave Wilner credit for writing a fair and balanced article. However, if you disagree with the opinions he expresses, or the facts he offers to support them, by all means speak up and say so. But try doing so without the childish name calling. It will make your posts much better reads.

  • BlueNGold

    Juancho- I can’t afford an ESL either, but that does not make the program a mistake or bad idea, does it?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    BnG, I read Wilner for years until I realized his angle. Then, every post and article he writes became hollow, more concerned with blog hits than factual unbiased reporting. Yes, he does put in some actual reporting, but it is NEVER alone. There is ALWAYS a spin, always a controversy whether one exists or not. Kawakami doesn’t even stoop to that level.

    I stick with the Wilner label as accurate, childish or not.

    If you insist on intellectual maturity and air of superiority to the posts you read, by all means skip me. I don’t have a target audience. I just try to express my self however the mood happens to type itself, from critical thinking to poop jokes.

    I’m a bovine of many layers.

  • BlueNGold

    Cow, you can defend and rationalize all you want, but name calling is still name calling, and it is in no way an excuse for civil and rational discourse. If you want to refute and dispute, do it with facts and analysis and not simply by throwing around tasteless labels that add nothing to the discussion.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I break wind in your general direction.

  • BlueNGold

    What a great way to demonstrate intelligence and maturity, cow.