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UC Berkeley to dedicate renovated Goldman Field on Saturday at invitational track meet
05 Apr 2000

By José Rodríguez, Development Communications

BERKELEY -- The world's first facility dedicated purely to track and field will reopen this weekend after a $3.5-million renovation funded in part by a lead gift from San Francisco philanthropist Richard N. Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda Haas Goldman.

The improved facility at the University of California, Berkeley, will be named Goldman Field in honor of Mr. Goldman's father, Richard Samuel Goldman. The elder Goldman competed for the California Golden Bears under Walter M. Christie, the legendary Cal track and field coach from 1900 to 1932.

The field will be dedicated at a ceremony on Saturday, April 8, at 12:30 p.m., during a break in the third annual Brutus Hamilton Memorial Invitational track meet. Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, Cal Athletic Director John Kasser, Cal Track and Field and former U.S. Olympic Head Coach Erv Hunt, and Richard Goldman will dedicate the field.

The renovation converts Edwards Stadium into a sorely-needed, multi-use venue for track and field in the spring and men's and women's soccer in the fall. The new field also will help to remedy the shortage of grass playing fields on campus and give Cal the opportunity to host post-season soccer events.

The stadium, which opened in 1932 at a cost of $630,000, will retain its 22,000 seats. But the improvements bring the facility to a new level. Among the new features are:

Conversion of the infield into a regulation-size soccer field with a state-of-the art drainage system, suitable for international competition.

Reconfiguration of the 400-meter oval with 85-meter straight-aways.

Installation of a top polyurethane, all-weather track surface, faster and more suitable for national and international competition.

Edwards Stadium has had a long and storied tradition as the nation's largest complex built exclusively for track and field. It has been the site of 18 collegiate records, 16 American records, and 11 world records - including the first 15-foot pole vault by Cornelius Warmer dam in 1940 and Jim Ryun's famous 3:51.3 mile in 1966.

Yet, the venerable and heavily-used landmark had deteriorated steadily over the past two decades, so badly that the track no longer conformed to current international standards.

The lead gift of $1.5 million by the Goldmans gave the renovation project momentum to raise all the funds needed, said Athletic Director John Kasser. UC Berkeley alumni and friends contributed the balance of the $3.5-million.

The renovation adds another improved athletic facility to the UC Berkeley campus. In fall 1999, the campus opened the Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion, a renovation of Harmon Gym.

Saturday's Brutus Hamilton Memorial Invitational will draw a wide field of athletes from college teams across the country, as well as members of the Taiwan Olympic team and Japan national team. Former NCAA decathlon champion and UC Berkeley alumnus Chris Huffins also is expected to compete in several events.


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