Softball Field Improvements
As Chancellor Christ stated in a message to the campus community, this project is first and foremost about UC Berkeley’s values, specifically the value the University places on gender equity, including access to equitable athletics facilities for our male and female student-athletes. In addition, the Chancellor explained, we must maintain compliance with the provisions of Title IX that support and protect those very same values.
Under the proposed Project, UC Berkeley would upgrade the existing facility for the Intercollegiate Athletics Women’s Softball Program, as well as for other campus and community recreational uses that would be available through reservation. The use of the upgraded facility would remain largely similar to existing uses. The primary physical changes would include providing additional spectator seats, a press box, competition-grade lights, team and locker rooms, and improved training facilities, such as batting cages.
The proposed Project would involve demolishing all existing facilities on site—including seating bleachers, access ramps, stairs, fences, and restroom facilities—and the majority of the existing surface parking. The Project would then result in construction of an upgraded NCAA-compliant softball field and a two-story structure including the concourse, fixed seating capacity for up to 1,500 spectators, and the press box.
The upgraded field would be in the same location as the existing field, and would remain oriented to the northeast with home plate at the southwest corner of the site. The outfield fences would be extended to 190 feet down to the right and left baselines, and 220 feet to the centerfield, maintaining NCAA standards. The outfield fence would be up to eight-feet high from finished grade to the top. Interior field dimensions would include a 60-foot base path and would measure 43 feet from the pitcher’s rubber to home plate.
The existing stadium lights would be replaced and upgraded by six 85-foot-high towers that would illuminate the infield, outfield, bullpen, and seating. The press box, staircases, restrooms, and home and visiting team areas would have occupancy sensors that would be connected to the lighting control system. In addition to competition field lights, the Project would include upgraded street and pedestrian lighting. All areas of public circulation would have recessed lights angled downward to reduce light pollution and glare, to be compatible with the rustic character of the Hill Campus.