Jason King has seen the transformation of the newest space at Camp Randall Stadium from high-level concept in a facility master plan five years ago to weeks away from completion in a tight construction window.
Now King, a senior associate athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, is picturing what the new facilities created in the 105-year-old stadium’s south end zone can bring to the department.
“It’s going to give us something unique that we don’t have,” King said as he showed off the under-construction areas Tuesday. “The ideas are endless.”
The newly created club spaces in the stadium and spilling into the Field House offer themselves to business meetings, social events and weddings, King said. The hope from UW officials is to be able to use the amenities not just for football and volleyball game days but throughout the calendar.
This phase of the multi-year, $77.6 million project started days after the end of the 2021 Badgers home football season and it’s on schedule to be finished by the start of the 2022 season on Sept. 3. The supports for seats are in place in some of the outdoor sections and finishing touches are being installed inside.
UW is making plans for an Aug. 11 run-through event to start to show things off.
A second phase planned to happen during the 2022-23 football offseason involves a facelift for multiple levels of the press box on the stadium’s west side.
The work that started last November is transforming part of the stadium that was 6,000 bleacher seats into premium seating for around 2,300 plus indoor spaces with food and drink. Replacement of the artificial turf on what’s now known as Barry Alvarez Field is complete.
“One of the things that we’ve heard for years is a lot of our premium spaces that we have in Camp Randall are behind glass,” King said. “So when we surveyed our fan base one of the things that we heard was we’d really like to have this premium opportunity but be able to take part in the traditions that make Camp Randall so unique. This space provides that.”
From the field up, the new touches include:
- Loge boxes to seat four or six people just behind the end zone at field level and ledge seats in rows above them. The loge boxes include a 20-inch TV and a refrigerator and both areas have heated flooring.
- Victory Hall, a room that lets patrons filter out into the lower-level seating but offers a bar, food service and a video screen wall inside.
- The Touchdown Club, an area covered by the level above where food and drink will be for sale. It’s accessible to fans who have seats in other parts of the stadium with purchase of a membership.
- The Champions Club, the jewel of the new clubs that serves approximately 1,000 seat holders in the sections outside with a long bar up against the stone wall of the Field House.
- The 1917 Club, which overlooks the Champions Club and has access to Bucky’s Balcony. That space inside the Field House can be used for both football and volleyball games and has reused wooden bleachers as wall decorations to tie the old to the new.
- The Fifth Quarter Patio, with chairback seating and a casual space for games and mingling around the arched Field House windows and four 85-inch TVs.
“You’re going to be able to have an indoor-outdoor experience,” King said. “So when the fourth quarter comes around and ‘Jump Around,’ you’re going to be able to be a part of that experience and then step into a climate-controlled space later on, if you so choose.”
UW is about 95% of the way to its goal of selling out all the new premium space, King said. The costs the school was advertising earlier this year ranged from $1,500 to $3,500 per person per season, not including a required gift to UW Athletics that starts at $2,500 per purchase.
A project with the scope of the reworked south end zone usually takes longer than the nine months allotted by UW.
“To be able to do a $66 million project in less than a year is a challenge,” King said. “But we had a lot of people that were good and up to that challenge.”
With Camp Randall Stadium renovations taking shape, check out the progress so far
80 Days/Tweets til Opener. As a frosh backup, Jack Sanborn had 7 tackles at ILB. The following season, he took over as a starter and had ‘80’ stops. Will history repeat itself at the position? Jordan Turner had 6 tackles (24 snaps on defense) in ‘21. But looms as a starter in ‘22 pic.twitter.com/wCXJotEAtQ
— Mike Lucas (@LucasAtLarge) June 15, 2022