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Cal's Football Stadium Gamble

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As state legislators shrink its appropriations, it's hard enough for the University of California-Berkeley to maintain the nation's highest academic ranking among public colleges.

But there now looms a financial threat from another, somewhat unlikely quarter: the university's football program.

Until now, the years-old effort to renovate the school's football stadium, which sits on an earthquake fault line, never raised many alarms. Although its $321 million price tag would make it one of the most expensive renovations in college sports history, the university said the project would be funded privately, largely through long-term seat sales and naming rights.

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