A proposal for Camp Randall Stadium end zone renovations is back on, as the University of Wisconsin athletic department proposes an overhaul to the home of Badger football.
The Camp Randall Stadium end zone renovations would use the closed end of the traditional horseshoe currently used for bleacher seating in front of the UW Field House and convert it to high-end seating with a variety of club seats, indoor and outdoor hospitality clubs integrated with the Field House, and premium concessions. Currently the end-zone bleachers seat 5,500, but about half of that seating could be lost to the high-end offerings.
This is not a new plan: it was part of a proposed facility master plan development for the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department released in 2016 and prepared by HOK (Kansas City) and Berners-Schober Associates (Green Bay). A survey of season-ticket holders indicated strong support for an indoor-outdoor premium space within the lower level of Camp Randall Stadium seating bowl, as the current premium spaces are indoors and removed from the action. But end-zone renovations are the rage in college football, with the University of Missouri unveiling a new development at Memorial Stadium (done, incidentally, with Legends–the same firm consulting with UW on this new plan) and the University of Texas constructing a new end-zone development at Memorial Stadium for 2021.
The plan unveiled by the University of Wisconsin is short on details: there’s no timeline, no architect/project manager/construction firm, and no budget, though the end-zone renovations unveiled in 2016 carried a price tag of $40 million to $50 million, with another $9 million for Field House renovations.
“I’m very excited about this next phase in Camp Randall’s history,” UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a press release debuting the plan. “We are continually trying to provide our fans a first-class experience when they come to our events. This latest renovation will enhance that experience with amenities we know our fans desire.”
One compelling argument for making this plan work: premium seating at Camp Randall Stadium sells out quickly, and a survey of donors and season-ticket holders (including those on a waiting list for premium seating) in 2016 indicates a demand for more. Financially, the UW-Madison athletic department runs a surplus and contributes to the University general fund – some $11.7 million in the 2016-2017 school year, on an operating expense budget of $122 million. Though state bonding for this project is anticipated, the project should pay for itself and more with increased revenues and privately fundraised dollars.
Renderings courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison.