Oh the Wisconsin Badgers...always a bridesmaid but never the bride. They might be the most consistent football program in all of sports. Three things are certain in life: death, taxes and Wisconsin running a fullback dive. It's ok, because Athletic Director Barry Alvarez wouldn't have it any other way. A B1G West Division title and a loss in the B1G Championship game is a great season for our cheese head brethren. Yet, their performances on the field do not matter here; this is about their stadium. So strap on your hideous game day overalls, put on your block of cheese and enjoy.
If you haven't picked up on it by now, I am very much a traditionalist when it comes to aesthetics. So you can imagine how geeked I was to enter the stadium for the first time after seeing the old Wisconsin "W" on the field house. The stadium has been around since 1917 and holds a capacity of just over 80,000 people. Like many old college football stadiums, it features a lower bowl seating concept with one upper deck along the home sideline. Students and the band are cover an entire end-zone in the lower bowl, however it takes nearly three quarters to file all the students in. It's annoying, but given that employees are dealing with thousands of shirtless drunk students in overall bibs, it's probably for the best. So, bonus points for actual structure. Overall I think the stadium is pretty cool looking. It's not the flashiest, but the Field House connected to the stadium looks GREAT.
PRESS BOX: 7.7
There's so much potential with this one. The score should be so much higher given what's provided inside the press box. I mean just look at that plate of food: bruschetta, steak, and garlic mashed potatoes. When I walked up to the media entrance, the nice elderly woman handed my backpack to me and said "hunny, you're gonna want to hurry up there. They have homemade salted caramel cookies and they go fast!" This woman was genuinely concerned that I wouldn't get a damn cookie. If that isn't Wisconsin hospitality then I don't know what is! As you can see, I got my cookie and it was DELICIOUS. What brings this score down is the actual press box itself. The press entrance is nowhere near the elevator so I basically hiked through a maze of unlabeled doors to get there. Really it's just old and needs an update. Other than that, it's a great press box. The food is great, the coffee is hot and plentiful and the staff is extremely helpful.
Yes really, I fricken love this place. Sure the building is old, but boy does it get rocking. I've been to two games at Camp Randall: a non-conference slaughter of Bowling Green and a College Game Day fight against Michigan. The fans were just as loud against BGSU as they were against Michigan. When you consistently draw crowds like that and KEEP that kind of atmosphere, it's hard to knock any points off. The team enters the field surrounded by a cloud of fog while U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" blares over the PA system. The entire stadium sings along to "Build Me Up Buttercup" in the fourth quarter. As you probably expected, what puts this place over the top comes at the end of the third quarter; Jump Around. The rumor is that this tradition started at a house party and made it's way to being played over the PA system. The tradition stuck, and 80,000 people jumping on bleachers caused the press box to SHAKE. I'm not exaggerating, I literally rocked back and forth in my chair like I was on a flight with severe turbulence. You can hear the pipes rattling in the video I posted above. It's the best tradition in of all college football. For that, some serious points were rewarded.
FINAL SCORE: 8.6
I love this stadium; so much. I truly think it has the best atmosphere in the entire B1G conference, possibly all of college football. Points were taken off for lack of renovations, but I don't think there's anything bad about this place. It's surrounded by bars, the people are friendly and the football is good. There really isn't much more you want as a fan. I urged you to check out Notre Dame to say you've been there, but I urge you to go to Camp Randall because it might be the most fun place to be.