edlee_swornin.jpgA contested mayors race is set to take place Saturday at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park as Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wager on the Cal Bears victory against the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The season opener between the University of California at Berkeley and the California State University at Fresno has prompted friendly bets that have Bates and Lee vying for a win over Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.

Bates and Swearengin have agreed that the mayor whose team loses will sport their opponent’s jersey for a day.

“The citizens of Berkeley can expect to be seeing red at City Hall at least for a day–after Fresno State defeats Cal on Saturday,” Swearengin said.

But Bates, a former starting Cal football player who helped bring the Pacific Coast Conference Championship team to the 1959 Rose Bowl, is expecting a different outcome after the “Battle by the Bay.”

“I can’t wait to see Mayor Swearengin dressed in blue and gold,” he said.

Lee, who graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Law in 1978, has gambled that the Golden Bears will prevail against Swearengin’s own alma mater.

The two, who will both attend the game and participate in the coin toss, have decided the winner will send a package filled with local foods and treats to the defeated mayor.

“Nothing will top the sweet taste of victory,” Swearengin said.

If the Golden Bears lose, Lee will deliver Dungeness crab from Fisherman’s Wharf, Anchor Steam beer, Ghirardelli chocolates and Philz coffee.

But he said he looks forward to sampling delicious Fresno specialties.

“The Battle by the Bay” marks the first time a regular season college football game will be played at Candlestick Park. The Golden Bears will play the rest of the season at AT&T Park while UC Berkley’s Memorial Stadium undergoes renovations.

Saturday’s kickoff will begin at 4:07 p.m.

Rachel Purdy, Bay City News

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