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  • Steven Burke

Camp Randall Stadium - Wisconsin Badgers

Photos by Steven Burke, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Camp Randall Stadium 1440 Monroe St Madison, WI 53711

Year Opened: 1917

Capacity: 80,321

How Wisconsin does College Football

College football possesses a pride and nostalgia unrivaled by many other sports featuring venues that have stood the test of time and serve as cathedrals to the game. One of those venues can be found at the University of Wisconsin. Camp Randall Stadium began its life of historical relevance during the Civil War as a training camp for Union soldiers. In 1895 the Badgers began to call the location home for football games and through expansions and renovations it has remained that way ever since. Today the stadium possesses a campus feel within an urban setting and as an 80,000+ seat facility it is one of the gems of the Big Ten.

Food & Beverage 4

The usual concession stands selections can be found throughout many sections of the stadium with favorites including pizza slices $7.50, hot dog $4.50, and brats $5.75. Snacks include popcorn $4, nachos $5, and jumbo pretzels with cheese for $6.50. Pepsi products are also available for $5.75 with bottled water for $4.

Some of the specialty food stands placed around the stadium provide expanded choices such as beef sandwiches $9.50, cheese curds for $8.75, Cousins Subs combos for $9, and a Buckingham Burgers for $11 which provide a build your own option of sauces and toppings. If you need some extra caffeine, check out the Just Coffee Cooperative stand which provides all of your coffee shop essentials.

Atmosphere 4

When a college football program has the support of the surrounding community, a lively student section, and success on the field the atmosphere is sure to be top notch. Fans of all ages are interested in the game and knowledgeable of the action on the field.

The location of the stadium adds to the atmosphere; the urban setting and involvement of the Madison community add a sense of importance and seriousness to the product on the field. You can’t address the atmosphere at Camp Randall without bringing up the wonderful “jump around” tradition which began in 1998. Between the 3rd and 4th quarters all of the fans in the stadium yell, dance, and sing along to the House of Pain song “Jump Around.”

Neighborhood 5

Madison epitomizes a college football town, it rivals the best experiences in college football around the country. When the Badgers have a home game everybody in town becomes a part of it; it can be seen in the local bars and restaurants as well as the mixture of students and families proudly wearing their team colors. Fraternity houses are located on the west side of the stadium and they tend to add to the pregame atmosphere.

Jordan’s Big 10 Pub on Regent Street offers a huge lot for tailgaters and a massive Badgers scoreboard over the lot. Lucky’s Bar is another Regent Street venue that turns its parking lot into a makeshift beer garden for tailgaters. State Street Brats is known for one of the best places on earth for a brat and is located on the pedestrian-only State Street. They also are known for a wide variety of daily specials.

A bit further down the road, near the Wisconsin State Capitol Square, you’ll find a couple of great spots. The Coopers Tavern has 28 beers on tap as well as good food. Try the Sconnie egg, essentially a scotch egg covered in bratwurst. Capital Brewery and Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company are two fine examples of locally made beer.

Fans 5

The way in which the people and families of Madison embrace the Badger football team is wonderful. They are knowledgeable, passionate and involved in the game. And, as is the case in much of Wisconsin, they are friendly. It is routine for them to ask where you are from and offer postgame suggestions once they find out you aren’t a local. The symbiotic relationship between the fans and the student section is wonderful. Expect friendliness, camaraderie, and passion as you take in the sites at Camp Randall

Access 3

Arriving at your chosen parking spot early is essential for Badgers game day. This isn’t meant to be conveyed as a negative, just a necessity. As is the case with many college towns through the south, the normal population of the town is drastically increased on game day by those taking in the festivities. Patience is required during egress as many of the surrounding roads are two or at most four lanes wide. As long as you aren’t in a hurry and are open to enjoying the environment a bit longer it really isn’t that big of a deal. Local police will direct traffic however with so many intersections and parking lots emptying at the same time patience and hospitality are needed.

Moving around the stadium itself is pretty easy. Stairways can get a bit clogged, but overall the concourses are wide and easy to navigate. Restrooms are hit and miss, as they’ve added the portable kind to the stadium to supplement the existing restrooms. And game day apparel or souvenir needs can be addressed at Bucky’s Locker Room on the concourse as well.

Return on Investment 5

As is becoming commonplace across college and professional sports the ticket prices vary based upon the opponent. For the current 2018 season, the lowest single-game ticket price of $57 applies to Western Kentucky and New Mexico games while the highest single-game ticket prices of $100 apply to the Nebraska game. Of course, you should plan to buy your tickets early, because Camp Randall tends to sell out. Tickets can be found in the secondary market as well, just do your research and prepare in advance.

Extras 2

Madison alone warrants extra points. As a college football traditionalist, the feel of nostalgic football settings mixed with modern passion, and Wisconsin is wonderful.

For a student experience, it doesn’t get better than living next to the stadium in older student housing and going to the game as a part of the massive and organized student section. Points also get awarded for the outstanding traditions on the field and in the stands. The marching band, Jump Around, and the 5th Quarter is all worthy of special recognition.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Madison on game day definitely makes the list of great college football experiences and I would strongly recommend paying a visit. I think you will find it rivals the atmosphere found anywhere.

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