Fresno Beating Cal at Box Office

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bulldogs are beating the Bears -- and kickoff is still 10 days away.

    Cal's football team will play most of its 2011 games at AT&T Park this year, but Game No. 1 is being held at Candlestick.

    Cal had to find a new place to play because Memorial Stadium is undergoing earthquake-proofing renovations.

    Candlestick is technically a "neutral" site for the two teams and it is not part of the season ticket package.

    And for now, the Sept. 3 contest against Fresno State might feel like a Fresno home game, as Bulldog fans have thus far purchased thousands more tickets than Bears faithful, according to the Contra Costa Times.

    Fresno fans have swept up some 12,000 tickets to only 7,500 thus far for Cal fans, the newspaper reported. That means that Fresno's athletic department is guaranteed a $900,000 payout, the bonus for buying up the required 10,000 tickets, which it did easily.

    In order for Cal to received its promised $1 million, it needs to sell about $175,000 more worth of tickets over the next week.

    Tickets must be sold through either school's athletic department in order to qualify for the quota.

    So what gives? San Francisco's a bit closer to Berkeley than it is to Fresno -- does the Central Valley simply have better or more rabid football fans? Or is the Bay Area a secret haven for Fresno alumni?

    Maybe: Cal coach Jeff Tedford is a Fresno alum, for example. At this point, he's hoping enough Cal fans buy tickets so that the "home" game "is at least neutral" for his side, he told the newspaper. That's called "subdued expectations."