Wisconsin redesign project brings Camp Randall, Field House together like never before | college football

The bar stretches from one side of the room to the other, interrupted only by four black support pillars that extend to a gazebo carved into the upper floor.

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

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

But the light that might capture the most attention in Camp Randall’s new upscale space is formed on the element that has been around for more than 90 years and now serves as a design element.

Above the rows of liquor bottles, the exterior stone walls of the Field House gleam, emphasizing a connection between the new facility and the Badgers’ history. This part of the building had been hidden for nearly 20 years by the upper rows of the old South Zone seating structure.

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It is now a focal point for the larger club space created in the project which has converted rows of bleacher seats into three levels of premium zones.

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

“One of the projects I’ve enjoyed the most is the complete Field House refresh that we started a few years ago and are very proud of,” he said. “Now we’re able to actually integrate this refresh into a brand new facility here as well.

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

It was impossible to involve the Field House in a renovation of the South Zone headquarters. The UW Volleyball and Wrestling Venue—which once housed the basketball teams before the Kohl Center opened in 1998—is the section’s back wall.

Before this seating area was rebuilt in 2004, the north wall of the Field House was a natural vantage point for spectators as it contained the large scoreboard and bulletin board. It also drew attention to the aging Field House, whose windows had cracks and the sandstone had held dirt for decades.

Windows have been replaced in recent years and the stone cleaned is a more natural hue, impacting both the interior and exterior of Camp Randall’s new seating structure that has been built since UW played their last game of 2021 last November.

UW did more than just use the Field House as a backdrop. A connection through an upper level of the 1917 Club’s new south end area seating provides access to balcony space inside the Field House. This gives the Field House club space to overlook the pitch for the first time.

Renovated seating in the South Zone of Camp Randall Stadium is shown from the North Tunnel during the Badgers football team media day on August 2.


Expanding Options

The $77.6 million project shows two ways UW is entering a new phase with events at Camp Randall. One is to offer a large amount of high-end seats that include an exterior component.

Most of the suites and club seating that existed in the stadium prior to this season was indoors only, so the fan experience was behind glass.

The other change is an expansion of the gatherings that Camp Randall can hold. UW officials mentioned that corporate events and weddings were possible in the club’s new spaces.

“Generally, Camp Randall usage has been dominated on game day,” said sporting director Chris McIntosh. “Obviously the game day is not going to change; we think it will be improved. But I think it’s the start of a Camp Randall that is used well over seven Saturdays a year. This project is a perfect way to kick this off.

“The programming and flexibility it provides allows us to do amazing outdoor activation, but in the winter and late fall, step into an air-conditioned environment while enjoying all that Camp Randall has to offer. .”

UW has been talking about renovating Camp Randall’s South Zone seating since 2016, when it surveyed ticket buyers about their preferences for the space. Interested people mentioned more legroom and wider cushioned seats as the best features they were looking for in the new premium seats.

The report compiled by Legends in 2016 indicated that club and lodge seats along the touchlines were by far the preference over those in the end zone.

Despite this indication, UW proceeded with designs for the south end zone and first made them public in 2017. Plans changed a few times and the project was delayed for a year due to the pandemic, but the main ideas have remained 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, sits atop the new structure. It has armchairs and a casual space for games and get-togethers around the Field House’s arched windows and four 85-inch televisions.

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

The Champions Club serves around 1,000 fans in the rows of cushioned seats outside its doors. Below, the outdoor Touchdown Club sells food and drink to fans who have seats in other parts of the stadium with the purchase of a membership.

The lower level has front row boxes for four or six people and ledge seating in rows above them. The lodges include a 20-inch TV and refrigerator. Both spaces have underfloor heating. Both areas feed into the Victory Club with a bar, food service and indoor video screen wall.

Camp Randall Renovation

A view of the 1917 Club inside the new Camp Randall Stadium premium area on July 12 overlooks the Champions Club.


Luxury comes at a cost: UW announced prices earlier this year between $1,500 and $3,500 per person per season, not including a mandatory gift to UW Athletics that starts at $2,500 per purchase.

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

Renovation of the south end area transformed one of the newest parts of the site, completed in 2004. A sports facilities master plan in 2017 identified the west side of the stadium, part of which dates from 1917, as a potential next area for improvement.

The movement of fans in the hall on the west side of the stadium competes with the queues in the stands and bathrooms, creating bottlenecks. The master plan called for a reconstruction of the middle of the west stands which would relocate and enlarge the halls and lower them to street level.

“We certainly have plans going forward to continue making improvements at Camp Randall,” King said. “It’s going to be a huge project, so we have to finish this one first, then we’ll tackle the next one.”

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