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AT&T Park to host Cal football for 2011 season

The home of the San Francisco Giants will be the full-time home of the Cal football team while repairs to Memorial Stadium are made.

College football has become alternative programming for many ballparks — Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field are hosting games this fall — but the San Francisco Giants are going a step further and hosting the Cal football team for the entire 2011 season while renovations to Memorial Stadium are performed.

It's interesting that Cal chose AT&T Park over two football-only venues — the Oakland Coliseum and Candlestick Park — particularly when the Coliseum might have been a more convenient venue. But Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said AT&T Park was the natural choice.

"Overall, AT&T Park offers us the best facility to meet the needs of our football program, students and fans," athletic director Sandy Barbour said Monday in a news conference on the field at the park. "AT&T Park provides a perfect bridge for Cal football to the 2012 season, when we return to Memorial Stadium. It provides easy access for our East Bay fans. It has a staff used to hosting college football."

The Bears will pay rent on the facility. Though six games are scheduled, the team may be bumped if the Giants qualify for the postseason and require the use of the ballpark on a weekend.

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