Cal plays first ever weeknight game


They call it a victory walk when the players head into the stadium to take on the Washington Huskies. The first ever Friday night game comes on a day as students and staff had a regular class day on campus.

You didn't have much of a chance if you were parked in one of the no parking tow-away areas. Signs have been posted for months. Public transportation is the only way to go.

"We are running free shuttles from Rockridge BART, from Downtown Berkeley BART, as well as Berkeley Amtrak station, and there are 1,000 parking spaces at Golden Gate Fields, and we're running free shuttles from there as well," said Cal Athletic Director Hern Benenson.

The Friday night game is nationally televised on ESPN, so it is a showcase for Cal's new stadium, retrofitted at a cost of $321 million, with every improvement known to "fankind," including permanent lights, designed not to cause hassles in the neighborhoods.

"We do have permanent lights in the stadium that came with our renovation. We're very conscious of the lights we're putting in and wanted to make sure they were limited in terms of spillage. They're much more focused so that way it lights the field and not the neighborhood," said Benenson.

They sent out a letter to let residents know what is going on. For some students, a Friday night game is a new experience, even with midterms.

"Game days are a whole lot of fun, so it's not a hassle at all. What do you think of a game on Friday? It can only make it more fun cant it," said Cal Sophomore Stefan Klein.

"On a Saturday everyone wakes up and I live here so I always see a mass of people walking in, which I kind of like, but I don't know which one I prefer yet," said Cal Sophomore Suzanne Choy.

And a Friday game has meant an early start to party on, which could go late into the night.

They handed out 30,000 rally towels to inspire the team. This Friday night game is part of a new contract that the conference has. Cal will be on a Friday night again in 2014 or 2015.

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