May 16, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO - Several members of the Fresno State Athletics Department, including head coach Pat Hill, sophomore quarterback Derek Carr and junior linebacker Travis Brown, got an up close look at Candlestick Park on Monday.
The Dogs took part in a media conference at the site for the 2011 season opening game vs. the Cal Bears. Hill two of his standout players joined Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and nearly 50 media members in the San Francisco 49ers locker room for the event.
Game promoters also announced a title sponsor for the event, which will be called the "TicketCity Battle at the Bay". This will be the first regular season college game in Candlestick Park history.
Longtime Cal radio announcer Joe Starkey served as the moderator for the media conference. In addition to calling some of the greatest moments in Cal football history, Starkey returned to the venue where he called countless games for the 49ers.
Hill and the Bulldogs soaked up the atmosphere at the historic venue that has hosted some amazing NFL games, and spent time in the locker room shares by NFL legends Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Steve Young.
Carr visited the locker of his brother, David, a current member of the 49ers.
"It's crazy to be here where all of these guys played," said Carr, who looked at the framed jerseys of these Hall of Famers on the locker room walls. "I haven't had a chance to come see Dave play here since he's been with the 49ers, so this is pretty cool. I'm already excited for the game. I wish we could play right now."
Fresno State will play Cal on Sept. 3 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, a neutral site setting. The game time and television arrangements have not been announced. Tickets are available for sale through the Fresno State Athletics Ticket Office.
Game organizers, under the direction of Russ Potts and the Washington Redskins, have put together similar special games including last year's Boise State vs. Virginia Tech match-up at FedEx Field in Washington D.C., home of the Washington Redskins.
Hill used the opportunity to showcase his program to the Bay Area media members, praising the history of the Fresno State football program and it's important to the Valley. Hill is credited with introducing the Green V as a symbol of Valley pride and the strong agricultural ties to the region. All Bulldog sports teams wear the Green V as part of their uniforms.
"The Valley and the agriculture industries are an important part of our program and our university," said Hill. "Look at what the dairy industry, for instance, especially California Milk. The value that relationship has been for both Fresno State and the dairy industry has been tremendous. We play for a milk can trophy with our biggest rival Boise State and that has brought a lot of national attention to Fresno State as a leader in Ag production and education and to the dairy industry."
Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has special feeling about this game and the Fresno State program. Tedford is a graduate of Fresno State and was a record setting quarterback for the Dogs in the early 1980s. Tedford also served as an assistant coach for former coach Jim Sweeney and Hill prior to moving on to become offensive coordinator at Oregon and then 10 years ago winning the Cal head job.
The Dogs and Bears have players just twice - 1995 and 2000 - with the Bulldogs winning both games. Hill and Athletics Director Thomas Boeh championed this game and expressed their wishes for this series to continue.
"In today's economic climate, this game has great potential," said Hill. "It makes a lot of sense to continue this series for both schools. It generates a lot of interest, is a windfall for both teams in revenue and it's a great game for college football in the State of California."
"We Are Your Team!" Tickets for the 2011 TicketCity Battle at the Bay on Sept. 3 at San Francisco's Candlestick Park are available through the Bulldog Ticket Office. For more information including ticket prices and locationsFRESNO STATE VS CAL INFORMATION
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