Wisconsin’s redesign project brings Camp Randall, Field House together like never before | Football


The bar runs from one side of the room to the other, broken only by four black support columns that stretch up towards a view cut out from the floor above.

At the opposite end of the new indoor Champions Club, doors and windows overlook the Camp Randall Stadium turf, bringing natural light into the space that will be filled with fans on University of Wisconsin football Saturdays.

There are eight 85-inch TV screens behind the bar, a way to watch the game if those fans are more interested in staying inside.

But the light that perhaps catches the most attention in the new premium space at Camp Randall is trained on the element that has been there for more than 90 years and now doubles as a design element.

Above the rows of spirit bottles, the stone outer walls of the field house are illuminated, which highlights a connection between the new facility and the history of the Badger. That part of the building had been hidden for nearly 20 years by the upper tiers of the former seating structure at the south end.

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It is now a focal point for the largest club space created in the project, which converted rows of grandstand seats into three levels of premium areas.

Jason King, UW’s senior associate athletic director who oversaw the CR Future construction, admitted that the inclusion of the Field House was a personal part of the work.

“One of the projects that I’ve really enjoyed the most is the whole refresh of the Field House that we started a couple of years ago and that we’re very proud of,” he said. “Now we’re also able to really incorporate that refreshment into a brand new facility here.

“There’s a big part of our history that’s right here and a big part of our history that’s at Camp Randall. And we tie both of those spaces together, which I think is really unique and special.”

There was no way around involving the Markhuset in a renovation of the seating areas at the southern end. UW’s volleyball and wrestling venue — and former home of the basketball teams before the Kohl Center opened in 1998 — is the back wall of the section.

Before this seating area was rebuilt in 2004, the north wall of the Field House was a natural sight for spectators because it held the large scoreboard and notice board. It also drew attention to the aging of the field house, whose windows showed cracks and sandstone held dirt for decades.

The windows have been replaced in recent years and the cleaned stone is a more natural shade, both making an impression inside and outside the new Camp Randall seating structure that has been built since UW played its final 2021 game last November .

UW did more than just use the Field House as a backdrop. A connection through an upper level of the new south end zone seating in the 1917 Club provides access to a balcony space inside the Field House. It gives the Field House a clubhouse to overlook the field for the first time.

The renovated seating in the south end zone of Camp Randall Stadium is shown from the north tunnel during the Badgers football team’s Aug. 2 media day.


Choices expand

The $77.6 million project showcases two ways UW is entering a new phase of events at Camp Randall. One is by offering a large amount of premium seating that includes an outdoor component.

Most of the suite and club seats that existed in the stadium before this season were indoor only, so the fan experience was behind glass.

The second change is an expansion of the gatherings that Camp Randall can host. UW officials have mentioned corporate events and weddings as being possible in the new club rooms.

“In general, Camp Randall’s use has been dominated by game day,” said athletic director Chris McIntosh. “Obviously, game day is not going to change; we think it will be improved. But I think this is the start of a Camp Randall that is used far more than seven Saturdays a year. This project is a perfect way to kick it off.

“The programming and flexibility that it provides allows us to do an incredible activation outdoors, but in the winter and late fall, get in a climate-controlled environment, but still take advantage of everything Camp Randall has to offer.”

UW has talked about renovating Camp Randall’s south end zone seating since 2016, when it surveyed ticket buyers about their preferences for the space. Interested parties cited more legroom and wider, padded seats as the top amenities they were looking for in new premium seats.

The report prepared by Legends in 2016 indicated that club and box seats along the sidelines were far from the preference as opposed to those in the end zone.

Despite this indication, UW moved forward with designs for the south end zone and first released them in 2017. Plans changed a few times and the project was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, but the main ideas remain the same.

Bucky's balcony

Wisconsin senior associate athletic director Jason King shows off the new space called Bucky’s Balcony in the UW Field House.


3 indoor clubs

An outdoor terrace, the Fifth Quarter Patio, is on top of the new structure. It features chair-back seating and a casual space for games and mingling around the arched Field House windows and four 85-inch TVs.

The 1917 Club one floor below has a cutout that overlooks the Champions Club and the stone wall of the Field House. It has access to outdoor loge boxes.

The Champions Club serves approximately 1,000 fans in the rows of padded chair seats outside the doors. Below that, the outdoor Touchdown Club has food and drinks for sale to fans who have seats in other parts of the stadium with the purchase of a membership.

The lower level has loge boxes in the front row that seat four or six people and ledge seats in rows above them. The log cabins include a 20″ TV and a refrigerator, and both areas have underfloor heating. Both areas feed into the Victory Club with a bar, food service and a video screen wall inside.

Renovation of Camp Randall

A view from the 1917 Club inside the new premium area at Camp Randall Stadium on July 12 looks down into the Champions Club.


The luxury comes at a price: UW earlier this year announced prices of between $1,500 and $3,500 per person per season, not including a required gift to UW Athletics that starts at $2,500 per purchase.

McIntosh said he wants to make sure Camp Randall gets better with age. It becomes more of a challenge as time and space work against the older parts of the facility.

The south end zone renovation transformed one of the newest sections of the venue, completed in 2004. A 2017 athletic facilities master plan identified the stadium’s west side, part of which dates to 1917, as a potential next area for improvement.

Fan movement through the concourse on the west side of the stadium competes with lines at concession stands and bathrooms, creating bottlenecks. The master plan envisioned a reconstruction of the center of the western stands that would relocate and enlarge the entrances and lower them to street level.

“We certainly have plans in the future to continue to make upgrades to Camp Randall,” King said. “It’s going to be a huge project. So we have to finish this first, then we’ll tackle the next thing.”

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