BERKELEY, Calif. – Cal will open the 2016 season Aug. 27 in Sydney, Australia when the Golden Bears play Hawai’i in the first college football game of the 2016 campaign, the schools announced Saturday in conjunction with the New South Wales Government, TLA Worldwide and TEG. The Sydney College Football Cup will take place at the 83,500-seat ANZ Stadium originally constructed for the 2000 Olympic Games.
The contest will mark the first college football game to ever be played in Sydney and the first in Australia since games in Melbourne in 1985 and 1987. Cal will be playing a football game outside of the United States for only the second time in school history. Cal and Washington State battled to a 17-17 tie on Nov. 28, 1987, in Tokyo, Japan.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience for our student-athletes and an excellent opportunity to see and learn about another culture,” Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said. “We are proud to represent the University of California at this historic event. A great deal of hard work by many people has gone into making this a reality, and everyone associated with Cal Athletics is excited to take part in it.
“It is a great day for college football and all the fans of our sport,” Dykes added. “It shows the popularity college football is gaining, and we’re ready to help further introduce the sport to many more fans.”
“We are thrilled to open our 2016 football season in Sydney,” Director of Athletics Mike Williams said. “This will be a tremendous cultural and educational experience for our student-athletes, our football program, our university, and our fan base around the world. We are a global university with global alumni and fans, and we are excited to be bringing college football to the great country of Australia.”
Cal and Hawai’i have split four previous meetings with the Rainbow Warriors a 21-7 winner the last time the teams played in 1994 in Berkeley. Cal won in both 1968 and 1993, while Hawai’i captured the first-ever game between the teams in 1934. All of the contests prior to 1994 were played in Honolulu.
The August 2016 trip will mark the second time a Cal Athletics team has played down under in the last year with the men’s basketball squad playing four exhibition contests this past August in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The Cal-Hawai’i game will replace a previously scheduled Sept. 3 home contest on the Bears’ 2016 schedule against FCS opponent South Dakota. After returning from Australia, the Bears will visit San Diego State (Sept. 10) and host Texas (Sept. 17) in a pair of non-conference games before opening Pac-12 action.
Ticket and travel information along with television coverage and kickoff time for the Sydney College Football Cup will be announced at later dates.