A Camp Randall renovation plan overhauling end-zone bleacher seating and replace it with upscale group and chair back seating is now envisioned for the 2022 NCAA football season, as the as-yet-unknown financial impact of COVID-19 on college football is still being tallied.
The $77-million Camp Randall renovation originally was scheduled to begin at the conclusion of the 2020 football season and open by the start of the 2021 campaign. The current plan: work will begin sometime in 2021, with an opening tentatively set for the 2022 Badger football season. It was targeted for the south end zone, with changes planned for both the football stadium and the adjoining field house. Multiple levels of premium viewing options were planned, spanning from field-level loge boxes and terrace space to an upper level with seating and a bar area. The renovation will also lead to the addition of new indoor club areas–including one accessible from field-level loge boxes and terrace space, and another space at a higher level that would be accessible from seating and loge boxes.
Currently the end-zone bleachers seat 5,500, but about half of that seating would 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.
“We are obviously operating in a time of great uncertainty,” said UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez in a press statement. “Given our construction timeline and the timing around when decisions had to be made, we felt it was best to be prudent and delay the project for a bit. I have been thrilled with how strong sales have been thus far and I want to thank those who have already committed to purchasing seating in the new south end zone, leading to over 75 percent of loge box inventory being committed to date. Once finished, this will be a transformative project for Camp Randall.”
Rendering courtesy UW Athletics.