Camp Randall Stadium, built in 1917, is the home for Wisconsin's football team. The current capacity (76,129) ranks among the nation's largest school-owned stadiums.
Distinguished by its impressive double-deck structure and horseshoe design, Camp Randall Stadium has been the Badgers' facility since its opening game on Nov. 3, 1917. It has been host to 416 UW football games and attracted nearly 19 million fans.
Besides the field, Camp Randall houses the athletic department offices, lounges and study areas for student-athletes, as well as film, training and weight rooms and a display of football memorabilia.
The Stadium is the centerpiece of Wisconsin's athletic complex. Located on the same block on the west side of campus are the Dave McClain Athletic Facility, the state-of-the-art indoor practice building, and the Wisconsin Field House.
Wisconsin set a school record in 1994 when an average of 77,328 fans (99.5 percent of capacity) attended games at Camp Randall Stadium. Since Alvarez came to Madison, attendance at Wisconsin home games has improved 85 percent.
The UW has drawn more than 70,000 spectators to 72 games since 1970, including a record 80,024 against Michigan in 1978.
Success on the field has also been evident in Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers have posted a 13-2-2 home mark the last three years.
Camp Randall Stadium and its grounds had a rich history prior to its affiliation with Wisconsin athletics.
In the days before the Civil War, the site was owned by the Wisconsin Agricultural Society, which held its annual state fair on the grounds. When hostilities broke out in 1861, the society gave the land to the government for a major military training center. More than 70,000 troops attended training drills at the Camp Randall complex.
After peace was restored nationally, the land was returned to state fair property. The fair later moved to Milwaukee, and Wisconsin's Civil War veterans urged the legislature to purchase the land. In 1893, the state presented the site to the university as a memorial athletic field.
Intercollegiate athletics began on campus in 1881, and football joined the scene in 1889. The first games were played on the lower part of campus. The stadium was built at its present site in 1913. A tragic collapse of the wooden bleachers in 1915 prompted the UW to make plans for concrete stands.
Two years later, a 10,000-seat concrete stadium was built with a grant of $15,000 from the state legislature. The rest of the money came from department revenues.
The first game played in the present Camp Randall Stadium was a thrilling 10-7 homecoming victory over Minnesota in 1917. Capacity of the structure has increased several times, jumping to 51,000 by 1951.
A revision of the seating arrangements in 1955 boosted the capacity to 52,788. In 1958, the running track was removed, the playing field was lowered 10 feet and capacity was increased to 63,435. A second deck on the west side was added in 1966, raising the capacity to 77,745. Restructuring in the student section in '94, lowered capacity to its present level of 76,129. The facility is designed so that all seats point toward the center of the field, providing excellent sight lines.
The Communications Center, which is one of the Midwest's best facilities for working media, was built after the1966 season. The three-level structure includes areas for media, game personnel, department officials and patrons.
Facility improvements have been continued into this decade with the installation of an artificial turf playing field in the summer of 1990 and a computerized scoreboard and message center added in 1992.
Source: University of Wisconsin Sports Information Office
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN PLANNING NEW PREMIUM SEATING PLAN
July 29, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
The University of Wisconsin is considering scrapping its point system for assigning football seats at Camp Randall Stadium in favor of a plan that includes a surcharge for seats located between the
30-yard lines. If the plan is given final approval, it could be implemented in 2000.
While the plan has not been finalized, it is expected that season ticket buyers would be required to make donations of $25 to $150 on top of the price for season tickets. The practice is common at universities and is used at UW's Kohl Center arena which opened last year.
The new plan comes as the athletic department works on resolving a deficit budget, although it has nearly $4 million in reserve funds. Much of the deficit comes from the new Kohl Center where revenues, primarily from concerts and catering, have fallen below expectations.
UW-MADISON CONSIDERING EXPANSION OF CAMP RANDALL
October 14, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has hired an architectural company to help it determine whether to expand Camp Randall stadium. The stadium now holds 76,129 fans and has no luxury suites or club seats. Both items could be added to the 82-year-old venue along with additional seating. School officials hope to have a report by the end of the summer and fund the work for completion by 2003.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
October 11, 2003 - Camp Randall Stadium is the home for the Badgers of the University of Wisconsin, and the building's rich history goes back to the stadium's opening way back in 1917, and even longer than that. The grounds of the stadium served as a training camp for Union troops during the Civil War, and in the late 1800s the state acquired the land and turned it over to the college as a memorial athletic field.
The stadium has gone through many renovations and expansions, bringing the facility from an original capacity of 10,000 to its present two deck horsehoe configuration with seating for over 76,000. Another renovation is underway to add suites and club seating and should be ready by 2004.
Attending a Badgers game in Madison is a special experience! The stadium is right in the middle of the campus and close to downtown, and every available lot is open to tailgating and partying, and all the pubs and bars in the neighborhood are also overflowing into the street with their own parties and music. Just an electric scene! The UW Marching Band hosts a pregame concert near the student union, and perform on the field after the game in a tradition known as "The Fifth Quarter"
Badgers football games are almost always sold out events, with a large and enthusiastic student contingent dominating the entire north end zone. Along with many school traditions, one that stands out is the playing of the song "Jumparound" at the end of the third quarter. Those in attendance perform this crazy dance with arms in the air, and the stadium absolutely quakes from the noise and the excitement.
Game report, October 11, 2003. The Badgers took on the undefeated and defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes. After holding the lead for most of the game the Buckeyes tied the score 10-10 in the 4th and seemed to grab the momentum. But the Badgers scored the go ahead touchdown on a long run and managed to hold on to win 17-10, setting off a wild celebration on the field and certainly into the night out on the campus grounds.
Special thanks to DAN STEINHOFF and BRIAN BORKENHAGEN for being such gracious hosts and also thanks to CORBIN HUNT of the University's ticket office for making available game tickets.