While season-ticket sales for the Univ. of California-Berkeley's home football games at AT&T Park this season "are comparable to recent seasons at Memorial Stadium, a decrease of about 26,000 in seating capacity hasn't produced increased demand," according to Jonathan Okanes of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Cal AD Sandy Barbour said the school has sold about 26,000 season tickets, which she said is "very typical for mid-August." Cal has averaged "around 34,000 season tickets in recent years." Seating capacity for football at AT&T Park will be 45,000, compared to 71,799 at Memorial Stadium, and with "substantially less seating this season, the athletic department was hoping tickets would be moving at a brisker pace at this point." Barbour said, "I think we had hoped that with a smaller venue, and with more demand on the ticket, that it would have been accelerated a little bit." Okanes notes season-ticket prices for five home games in '11 "range from $225-$1,500," compared to $115-$1,560 for seven home games last season. Barbour said, "Anytime you do something different, there are going to be pluses and minuses. I think you've got some folks that don't want to come into the city and think it's a hassle to cross the bridge or take BART to come into San Francisco." Still, Barbour "hopes playing games in San Francisco helps with single-game sales" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/19).
BACK TO SCHOOL: In S.F., John Crumpacker reports Cal's new $143M High Performance Center will open Sept. 1, and the "first occupants will be the women on Cal's soccer, gymnastics, crew, golf, field hockey, lacrosse and softball teams." Their locker rooms and meeting rooms "are almost finished, down to the way-cool blue glass doors on the individual shower stalls." In all, 13 of the university's 26 sports teams "will take up residence" at the new facility; the football team "will not move into its new digs until after the season." Architects from the Hunt Construction Group "designed the more than 800-foot-long structure to meld with Memorial Stadium" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/19).