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California, Hawaii will open 2016 season with game in Australia

The Golden Bears and Hawaii will open 2016 season in Australia, Cal officially announced on Saturday.

The California Golden Bears and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will open the 2016 season playing in Sydney, Australia, the schools announced Saturday. 

The game will mark the first college football game played in Sydney and the first in Australia since games in Melbourne in 1985 and 1987. The season-opener is set to be played on Aug. 27 at ANZ Stadium, which holds 83,500. 

“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 in a press release. “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.”

The Bears were originally scheduled to begin their 2016 season on Sept. 3 against South Dakota. Hawaii’s opener was scheduled for the same day, on the road at Michigan.

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Cal and Hawaii have split their four previous meetings. Hawaii won 21-7 the last time the teams played in 1994 in Berkeley, Calif. Cal won in 1968 and 1993, while Hawaii was victorious in 1934. Pervious to the game in 1994, all contests were played in Honolulu.

“We are thrilled to open our 2016 football season in Sydney,” Director of Athletics Mike Williamssaid. “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.”

Next season’s opener will be the second time Cal has played outside the United States. The Golden Bears played Washington State in Tokyo, Japan in 1987.