Golden Bears Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Justin Wilcox

Team Mascot: Oski

Year Opened: 1923

Capacity: 63000

City / State: Berkeley / California

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

The Big Game

Rival Team: Stanford Cardinals

The Stanford Cardinal have been Cal’s arch rivals since 1892 making it the oldest college football rivalry in the West. The rivalry had produced many memorable moments over the years with the most famous coming in 1982 when the Cardinal band entered the field with time left to play as Cal returned the game-winning touchdown. Each year the winner of The Big Game takes home the Stanford Axe, which Cal has won 46 times. If you can make it to only one Cal game, then The Big Game is the one to see.

Cal vs UCLA

Rival Team: UCLA Bruins

Cal and UCLA have been duking it out for ages to lay claim to being the best University of California system school on the gridiron. The two teams first met in 1933, which resulted in a 0-0 tie. The Golden Bears trail the all-time series 52-32-1 and will look to end the Bruins current two-game winning streak when these teams meet next.

Cal vs USC

Rival Team: USC Trojans

Cal and USC have been rivals for ages as the two schools have been in the same conference since 1922. The Trojans have gotten the better of the Golden Bears over the years, which makes it even sweeter when they topple the Trojans.

Golden Bears Tailgate Guide


Tailgating at California University provides a unique experience since California Memorial Stadium is in the heart of Berkeley. This dense urban area offers you plenty of places to grab a quick bite to eat or something to drink before the game. The bars and fraternities are where you’ll find most fans, particularly students on game days. If you’re looking for more traditional tailgating, you’ll have to make your way to the constellation lots where you’ll find Cal fans setting up their game day delicacies. No matter where you party before a Golden Bears football game you’ll have a great time as everyone likes to drink a few beers and get in the game day spirit with fellow fans.

Tailgate Town is the perfect pre-game destination if you’re looking to get into the Cal game day spirit. It’s named the official pregame tailgating location, and admission is free. You’ll find everything you could want here regarding pregame entertainment. Here you can wet your whistle at the beer garden, grab a bite to eat at the concessions stand, and win some cool prizes by taking part in some fun activities.

Another great Cal pregame tradition is The Pregame rally at Sproul Plaza hosted by the Cal Band, cheerleaders, dance team, and other rally committee members. Finally, you can cap off your pregame experience with the March to Victory where you’ll greet the team as they march into the stadium before the game.


Pregame Rally at Sproul Plaza

See the Cheerleaders, Cal Band, Mic Men, Dance Team, Oski and the Rally Committee put on an excellent performance 1.5 hours before the big game starts! March with other fans and all these groups to Memorial Stadium and stop at Tailgate Town on the way!

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March to Victory

On a game day about 2 hours and 20 minutes before kick-off, fans can watch the Bears walk into California Memorial Stadium and cheer them on. Get in on the fun and join the human tunnel that spirit groups and fans make for the Bears as they enter the locker room!

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Bonfire Before The Big Game

Every year Golden Bears fans hold a bonfire before their team’s matchup with archrivals Stanford. Even the football team itself gets involved by bring the Stanford Axe to the bonfire when it’s in their possession. If you want to see what the Cal-Stanford rivalry is all about head out to the bonfire.

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Where to tailgate

Golden Bears Stadium Guide

In Game

The magic of a Cal Golden Bears game doesn’t stop at the tailgate as the fans at Memorial Stadium provide a great atmosphere that makes every game a one of a kind experience. One of the reasons Cal has such strong local support  is the location of the student section. Unlike many other college football stadiums, Cal placed their student section and the Cal Band right at the 50-yard line. The central location of the band and student sections means you’ll be able to hear the chants and cheers regardless of where you’re sitting in the stadium.

If you’re looking to watch a game in style, then Cal’s got you covered. California Memorial Stadium offers some of the most scenic club seats you could ever imagine, which provide an excellent view of the Bay Area and downtown Berkley. The club levels were renovated recently, so you can be the first of your friends to experience a Cal game in these new luxurious club seats.

Lastly, it should be noted that it’s in your best interest to avoid wearing red when attending a Golden Bears game. Cal fans are merciless to those seen in red, so if you want to avoid the harassment, I suggest wearing something in a nice Berkley blue.

Things to check out

Tightwad Hill

One of the most unique aspects of attending a Golden Bears football game is Tightwad Hill. Tightwad Hill, or Charter Hill as it’s official known, allows you the opportunity to view the game for free. It’s a great spot to go if you can’t get tickets and even if you can check it out as it's one of the most unique spots in all of college football.

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Bear Territory Legacy Wall

The historic wall displays ceramic tiles honoring those who have donated to Cal Athletics. It’s a great thing to show off to your friends and family as well as great way to show them how much the Golden Bears mean to you.

Cal Athletics Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame is located on the first floor of the west side of the California Memorial Stadium. Here you’ll find enshrinements to all the greatest athletes in Cal history as well as artifacts from Cal athletics over the years. Make sure to stop by the Hall of Fame to relive some of the greatest moments in Cal history.

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The Big "C"

The Big “C” is located on Charter Hill and overlooks Memorial Stadium. The “C” was constructed in 1905 by the classes of 1907 and ’08 and over the years has become a significant symbol of the University appearing in several school songs.

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California Victory Cannon

The cannon was presented to the Rally Committee in time for the 1963 Big Game. The cannon’s fire accompanies fans cheers before each home game as well as after every Cal score and victory. The cannon is mounted on Tightwad Hill above Memorial Stadium, so make the trek up the hill to see both the cannon as well as get a great view of the game.

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Cal Band

The University of California Marching Band has over 20 fight songs that they perform at the home games of the Golden Bears! The most famous of the fight songs is “Big C” and has been popular among Cal students and alum for a long time.

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Oski has been the Golden Bears mascot since 1941. He is named after the “Oski Wow-Wow” yell and is prominent in many Cal school songs. During games Oski entertains the fans, so keep your eyes peeled for him as you’ll never know what kind of shenanigans he’ll get into.

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Blue and Gold

The official colors of the University of California that were established at Berkeley in 1868. These colors were picked by the University’s founders, and they were mostly Yale men that came to the West. Gold was selected to represent the “Golden State” of California, and Yale blue was also chosen.

Fight Songs

  1. Hail to California

    Hail to California,

    Alma Mater dear;

    Sing the joyful chorus,

    Sound it far and near.

    Rallying round her banner,

    We will never fail;

    California, Alma Mater,

    Hail! Hail! Hail!


    Hail to California,

    Queen in whom we’re blest;

    Spreading light and goodness

    Over all the West.

    Fighting ‘neath her standard,

    We shall sure prevail;

    California, Alma Mater,

    Hail! Hail! Hail!

  2. Big 'C'

    The Big C traditionally is the first song of the pregame that the band marches and performs. It’s one of the most famous but most controversial Cal song, mostly because of copyright arguments between the Cal and UCLA bands.

    On our rugged eastern foothills

    Stands our symbol clear and bold

    Big C means to fight and strive

    And win for Blue and Gold

    Golden Bear is ever watching

    Day by day he prowls

    And when he hears the tread

    Of lowly Stanford red

    From his lair he fiercely growls


    Grr-ah! Grr-ah! Grrrrr—ah!


    We are sons of California

    Fighting for the Gold and Blue

    Palms of glory we will win

    For Alma Mater true

    Stanford’s men will soon be routed

    By our dazzling “C”

    And when we serpentine

    Their red will turn to green

    In our hour of victory!

  3. Palms of Victory

    What will we do to the Stanfurdites on that great day?

    We’ll celebrate them on that night after we play!

    We now declare our hoodoo’s gone, victory is here!

    Hit ‘em again boys! Hit ‘em again boys, harder!  



    Palms of victory, Palms of glory

    Palms of victory we shall win

    For Cali-California!

    Palms of victory, Palms of glory,

    Palms of victory we shall win!


    How do you think we’ll feel that night? Anything but cross!

    What’ll the red shirts have to say after their loss?

    Fill then a bumper to the brim, for we have won!

    Do it again, boys! Do it again boys, often!

  4. Fight for California

    Fight for Californiais performed whenever the Cal football team enters the field, after every score, and whenever the Straw Hat Band marches into a performance. It was traditionally the fourth song of the Cal Band’s pregame.

    Our sturdy Golden Bear,

    Is watching from the skies,

    Looks down upon our colors fair,

    And guards us from his lair.

    Our banner Gold and Blue,

    The symbol on it too,

    Means FIGHT! for California.

    For California through and through!


    Stalwarts girded for the fray,

    Will strive for victory,

    Their all at Mater’s feet will lay,

    That brain and brawn will win the day.

    Our mighty sons and true

    Will strive for us anew,

    And FIGHT! for California,

    For California through and through!

  5. Sons of California

    We’re Sons of California,

    A loyal company,

    All shout for California

    While we strive for victory.

    All sing the joyful chorus

    As her colors we unfold

    Then, Hurrah! for California,

    And for the Blue and Gold.


    (Yell the Chorus:)

    Hit it!

    C !

    A !

    L !

    I !

    F O R !

    N I A !





    We’ll yell for California,

    Dear Mother of us all.

    We’ll fight for California

    Till the crimson banners fall.

    And raise the joyful chorus,

    As her colors we unfold.

    For we’ll win for California,

    And for the Blue and Gold.


    We’re Sons of California,

    Fair mistress of the sea.

    And we’ll win for California,

    Her glorious destiny.

    Then raise the joyful chorus,

    As her colors we unfold.

    For we’ll win for California,

    And for the Blue and Gold.

  6. All Hail Blue and Gold

    All Hail Blue and Gold,

    Thy colors unfold

    O’er loyal Californians,

    Whose hearts are strong and bold.

    All Hail Blue and Gold,

    Thy strength ne’er shall fail;

    For thee we’ll die,

    All Hail! All Hail!


    All Hail Blue and Gold,

    To thee we shall cling;

    O’er golden fields of poppies,

    Thy praises we shall sing.

    All Hail Blue and Gold,

    On Breezes ye sail;

    Thy sight we love!

    All Hail! All Hail!

Golden Bears Bars & Restaurants

  1. Tupper and Reed

    Tupper And Reed

    Bi-level cocktail bar & lounge with craft drinks, a variety of seating options & vintage-chic decor.

    2271 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Bobby G’s Pizzeria

    Bobbys Pizza

    Bobby G’s is a gourmet pizzeria and draft house located in the heart of downtown Berkeley.

    2072 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter pizza

    A 2-story venue & beer garden that serves up wood-fired pizzas plus handcrafted beers & ales.

    2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. Triple Rock

    Triple Rock

    Students & professors alike head to this alehouse for its beers brewed on-site & bar food.

    1920 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  5. Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar

    Pappys on Telegraph

    Lively sports bar with several TVs & a large projection screen, plus burgers, BBQ food & sandwiches.

    2367 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  6. Freehouse

    Free house burger

    Buzzy brewpub serving both housemade & other beers plus a menu of gastropub fare in a slick space.

    2700 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  7. Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe

    green juice

    Salads, sandwiches, hot trays and drinks! Who could ask for more when you come to a classy little café like ours?

    2161 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  8. Eureka!


    Those that truly appreciate great food, craft beer and small-batch spirits are discovering a better restaurant experience and Eureka! has elevated it to an art form.

    2068 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  9. Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiano

    Gypsy pasta spaghetti

    Each plate can be customized by our customers since nothing is pre-made. Everything is made from scratch in the restaurant on a daily basis!

    2519 Durant Ave a, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    italian - $

  10. Rivoli Restaurant


    Californian-Mediterranean spot is known for simple cuisine in a romantic space overlooking a garden.

    1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA


    Bar website

    american - european - $$$

  11. Iyasare


    Inventive dishes from northeast Japan pair with classic nigiri & sashimi in a simple Zen-like space.

    1830 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710, USA


    Bar website

    asian - $$

  12. Comal


    The restaurant is housed in a single story building (circa 1927) and features a stunning secluded rear patio with a full bar, covered dining area and al fresco beer garden with fire pit.

    2020 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  13. Gather


    Locavores come for creative Californian fare made with seasonal ingredients & West Coast wines.

    2200 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  14. Sliver Pizzeria


    Socially conscious pie parlor showcases specialty pizzas, a full bar & live bands in a funky space.

    2468 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  15. Cheese Board

    Cheese Board

    A pizzeria, bakery & cheese shop, this spot serves 1 style of veggie pizza per day & limited seats.

    1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  16. Chez Panisse

    J Henrys Restaurant Steak

    Alice Waters' acclaimed flagship downstairs & cafe upstairs offer seasonal fare & a chic, cozy vibe.

    1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$$$

  17. Top Dog

    hot dog

    Quick-serve sausages including specialties & veggie options served in a minimalist setting.

    2534 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $