Campus Statement on the Opening of Underhill Field

The Office of the Chancellor issued the following statement on Monday, May 9, 2016:

UC Berkeley’s Office of the Chancellor is pleased to announce that Underhill Field, the practice and competition field for the Cal Women’s Field Hockey team, is open and available for use. In addition to servicing our Field Hockey student-athletes, Underhill Field will be available for use by the Cal Band, intramural teams, recreation and club sports programs and, pending availability, we look forward to the possibility of offering limited recreational use for students on this field. The construction incorporates water-saving equipment that allows the site to collect disposed ground water in storage tanks for use at the field.   

The effort that our campus, construction partners, Intercollegiate Athletics Department and Field Hockey coaches and team have engaged in collectively to complete the field portion of this effort has been long and challenging. To that end, we want to recognize our Field Hockey student-athletes and coaches for their patience and perseverance throughout this time period. They had to deal with a number of hardships during the better part of the past two years, including extensive trips to the Stanford campus for both practice and competition, no true “home” games, and two seasons on the road. We know these circumstances have been difficult for our student-athletes, and we want to apologize publicly to them on behalf of our University. We express special appreciation to Head Coach Shellie Onstead for her heroic efforts on behalf of the team during this period.

Now, as we turn the corner and move ahead toward what we believe will be a bright future for Cal Field Hockey, we are excited to welcome the team back to campus and look forward to supporting our team as it builds its way back to national prominence. Also, we appreciate the leadership of our Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Mike Williams, who began working on this issue when he assumed the top role in Athletics. Mike and his team stepped in and found ways to collaborate successfully with our campus partners in Construction & Design to ensure that building a home for this team was a top priority for campus. And while there are several aspects of the facility that are still to be completed, we are committed to finishing this work in time for the first competition of Fall 2016. The University has been working with our student-athletes, our coaches, and with Equal Rights Advocates to address completion of this work, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them as we do so.