Cal announced plans Monday morning to expand Memorial Stadium's role as a multi-purpose facility, with several new full-time tenants.

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  • This is the future, folks: The days of college football stadiums generating cash six times a year are going ... going ...

  • Memorial Stadium already houses the Haas School of Innovation Lab and a recreational sports fitness center.

    The next entities to move in: The UC Berkeley Visitors Center and the School of Public Policy (for its public affairs staff).

    A two-level parking garage is opening below Maxwell Field, and food vendors are expected to lease space in the stadium on a full-time basis.

    Also, look for a student store to open in the coming months.

  • For all their problems and missteps, the Bears are on the cutting edge in this vital slice of collegiate athletics.

    In fact, one could argue they're on the cutting edge because of their misstep with the original financing model for the stadium and training center (combined cost: $474 million).

    Faced with astronomical debt service payments and a disappointing response to the sale of high-priced, long-term season tickets -- the flawed ESP approach -- vice chancellor John Wilton and his team have sought out alternate revenue streams.

    One is leasing unused space in the stadium so that it generates cash above and beyond the traditional streams of ticket sales, concessions etc.

    Arizona State and Colorado are also headed down this path -- the Sun Devils are developing land around their stadium for commercial and retail use -- and other schools are following suit, including Notre Dame.

    (The Irish are leasing space in their soon-to-be-renovated stadium to academic departments.)

  • The Hotline has been critical of Cal athletics on a number of fronts in recent years, from the risky financing plan to the abysmal graduation rates to some questionable football moves, including one noted the other day: The hiring, demotion and reassignment of Andy Buh.

    But when it comes to identifying potential new revenue sources, particularly from existing campus facilities -- Wilton recently hired a vice chancellor for real estate -- the Bears are ahead of the game.

    Given the debt service payments coming down the road, that creativity could be their fiscal salvation.

  • I will have more coverage of the evolution of CMS as a multi-use facility in coming weeks and months, as more tenants arrive and the business model takes shape.

    For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's Hotline blog at www.mercurynews.com/blogs.