American Football Wiki
Camp Randall Stadium
The Camp
File:Camp Randall Stadium 2.jpg
Location 1440 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711-2051
Broke ground 1917
Opened November 3, 1917
Renovated 2004
Expanded 1921, 1924, 1940, 1951, 1958, 1966, 2004
Owner University of Wisconsin–Madison
Operator University of Wisconsin–Madison
Surface FieldTurf (2003–present)
AstroTurf (1968–2002)
Natural grass (1917–1967)
Construction cost $15,000
($NaN in 2022 dollars[1])
Architect Arthur Peabody[2]
Bernes-Schobler Associates, Inc. (2005 renovation)
Tenants Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA) (1917–present)
Capacity 80,321 (2005-present)
81,318 (2004)
76,634 (2001-2003)
76,129 (1994-2000)
77,745 (1989-1993)
76,293 (1987-1988)
77,280 (1966-1986)
63,425 (1958-1965)
52,788 (1955-1957)
52,819 (1953-1954)
51,000 (1951-1952)
45,000 (1940-1950)
38,293 (1926-1939)
29,783 (1921-1925)
20,000 (1920)
11,900 (1917-1919)

Camp Randall Stadium is an outdoor stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. It has been the home of the Wisconsin Badgers football team in rudimentary form since 1895, and as a complete stadium since 1917. It is located in the south-central region of the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The stadium seats 82,500.[3] It is the oldest and fifth largest stadium in the Big Ten Conference, and the 41st largest stadium in the world.


The stadium received its name because it lies on the grounds of Camp Randall, a former Union Army training camp during the Civil War. The camp was named after then Governor Alexander Randall, who later became Postmaster General of the United States.

File:Randall Field.jpg

Game day versus arch-rival Minnesota at Randall Field prior to stadium construction (Nov 12, 1904)

After an outcry from veterans over plans to turn the site into building lots, the state bought it in 1893 and presented it to the university. Soon afterward, it was pressed into service as an athletic ground. It was originally used by the track and field team before the football and baseball teams moved there in 1895. However, the wooden bleachers were very difficult to maintain, and a portion of them were actually condemned as unsafe in 1914. The university then asked for $40,000 to build a concrete-and-steel stadium, but only got half of the original request. However, after three sections of bleachers collapsed during a 1915 game, the state readily granted the additional money. The new stadium opened for the first time on October 6, 1917. It consisted of 7,500 concrete seats—roughly corresponding to the lower portion of the current stadium's east grandstand—and 3,000 wooden seats from the old field.

After the wooden seats burned down in 1922, more permanent seats were added in stages until it consisted of a horseshoe opening to the south, with a running track around the field. The stadium was renovated at various points to raise the size of the horseshoe by nearly doubling the number of rows around the stadium in stages, placing south stands in front of the Wisconsin Field House (built in 1930), the removal of the track and addition of nearly 11,000 seats in 1958, the addition of the upper deck in 1966, and finally the 2005 addition of boxes along the eastern rim of the stadium.

The field was originally natural grass, and was one of the first in the United States to convert to artificial turf in 1968. A new AstroTurf field was installed in 1990. A new type of artificial grass field, infilled FieldTurf was installed for the 2003 season. A new FieldTurf surface was installed after the spring term in time for the 2012 season.[4]

The stadium also houses athletic offices of the university. In 2002, a large-scale reconstruction project commenced, which added luxury boxes, a five-story office building, and separate football program offices. In addition, concessions, restrooms and other infrastructure items were upgraded, the walkway around the field was removed, and new scoreboards were installed. The construction was completed prior to the start of the 2004 season. The football team continued to play at the stadium throughout the construction.

Also during this period of reconstruction at the stadium, changes were made to the visiting team locker room. Known as one of the best visiting team locker rooms in the Big Ten Conference, it was initially painted a bright pink, a color thought to affect the play of the visiting team (similar to Iowa's pale pink visiting locker room). The UW Athletic Dept. decided that the color may irritate the opposing team and had the room painted a pale shade of blue called "prison blue", named for the shade of paint used in Wisconsin Department of Corrections facility cells, which is intended to have a "calming effect." Since this change, the Badgers have had a 43-4 home record.

The numbers of Wisconsin's two Heisman Trophy winners, Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne, are displayed on the upper deck façade. Both of their numbers (35 and 33, respectively) are retired; The retired numbers of Elroy Hirsch (40), Dave Schreiner (80), Allan Schafer (83), and Pat Richter (88) were added during the 2006 football season.[5]

File:Camp Randall Stadium stands.jpg

November 2006

File:Camp Randall Stadium crowd.jpg

Badger fans fill the stadium during a 2005 Michigan at Wisconsin football game.

At Barry Alvarez's final game as head coach in 2005, plans were announced to place a statue of him in the Stadium's Kellner Plaza. The bronze statue was unveiled on October 13, 2006. On November 17, 2006, it was joined by a similar statue of former UW athlete and athletic director Pat Richter.[6]

"The Camp Randall Crush"

Template:Rellink On October 30, 1993, the Wisconsin Badgers football team defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 13–10, for the first time since 1981. As the final gun sounded, students began to charge the field to celebrate, but were blocked by the guardrails surrounding the field. The crowd in the back, not aware of what was going on at the front, continued to move forward, now aided by gravity. Those in front were crushed against the rails and then trampled as the throng spilled onto the field. Seventy-three students were injured, six of them critically, though none were killed. Several Badgers football players assisted with removing the injured from the tangle, some of them were even medical students and administered CPR to many victims who were not breathing. Per Mar Security (stadium security) and the University of Wisconsin were later found liable for this situation.[7]

As a result, design changes were made in the stadium which increased the size and strength of the fences, along with better training of stadium personnel to handle a field rush. A field rush on October 16, 2010, after a defeat of #1 Ohio State proved the measures taken after 1993 worked, and only one minor injury took place as UW and Madison Police instead assisted students onto the field in a safe manner and opened up gates onto the field.[8][9]

Off-the-field traditions

Badger football events at Camp Randall Stadium include numerous traditions. Some of these include:

The Fifth Quarter

In 1969, the Badgers had lost 24 straight games, and Michael Leckrone took over the Wisconsin Marching Band. Working with athletic director Elroy Hirsch, Leckrone and the band created a fan event called "The Fifth Quarter", that took place at the end of the game.

Songs typically played during the Fifth Quarter include "On Wisconsin," "You've Said It All" (also known as the "Bud" song, referring to its beginning as a jingle in a Budweiser beer commercial), "Space Badgers" (A variation on the opening to Also sprach Zarathustra), "Dance Little Bird" (The Chicken Dance), "Beer Barrel Polka," "Tequila," and "Hey Baby." Many spectators remain in the stands for twenty minutes after the game to enjoy the performance. Many of the songs are associated with specific choreography in which the band, cheerleaders and the audience all participate.

At the end of the Fifth Quarter, the band lines up to play "Varsity" as the spectators sing. The band then exits the field via the north entrance to perform more and sing "It's Hard to Be Humble," after which the band marches to the Mosse Humanities Building, where it is dismissed.

The Fifth Quarter was officially named in 1978, and its traditions have been passed down since then.

The Wave

Camp Randall performs a non-traditional wave, following a strict pattern. The student section, more specifically section P, begins the wave by sending it around the stadium once counter-clockwise, then once in slow-motion, then once at double the original speed, then reversed (clockwise), and finally, splitting it into two counter-rotational waves. This is traditionally attempted at least once during every home game in the second or third quarter. Poorly executed waves receive the muskie clap.

The ESFU Chant

Like other schools, Badger fans perform a call-and-response chant before kickoffs; however, theirs is much more vulgar than many others. The most famous chant is between the upper classmen sections and the lower classmen in Section "O". During Steve Miller Band's Swingtown, the song starts with a long "Ooooooh" which is followed a quick "sucks" by surrounding sections, then section "O" responds with a "Fuck You" then all sections reply with an "Eat Shit." Despite attempts by administration to rid the stadium of this chant in order to provide a more family-friendly atmosphere, profanities still abound at certain points during the game.

"Jump Around": History & Controversy

Another tradition at UW Football games is the "Jump Around" where fans dance to the House of Pain song of the same name. This takes place between the third and fourth quarters. The "Jump Around" roots began when a group of the UW men's swim team regularly snuck both a discman and megaphone into games and played Jump Around to rile up their section. The official UW tradition started on Saturday, October 10, 1998, at the Badgers' Homecoming game against the Purdue Boilermakers[10] After no offensive points in the third quarter, and en route to their second 6-0 start of the modern football era, one of the Badgers' marketing agents, who was in charge of sound, piped the song through the loudspeakers.[11] It stirred up fans and players and has become a tradition of the last decade.

However, on September 6, 2003, (the Badgers' first home game of the season), with construction of the skyboxes surrounding the stadium, UW officials decided to cancel the "Jump Around" tradition that had been a staple for 5 years. Stadium security and the local police department had been informed of this decision, but no notification had been given to the fans.[12] As the fourth quarter began and students realized there had been no "Jump Around," they became upset. Some students jumped around even without the requisite music. Then an entire section sat down in protest, a majority directed their middle finger at the sound booth, and a chant of "Fuck the sound guy" began. Sitting down was particularly significant as the student section generally stands on the bleachers while the team is playing (in contrast to the rest of the stadium, which sits while the team plays and stands during halftime). Chanting and booing continued through the majority of the fourth quarter. With 6:29 to go in the game, Lee Evans scored on a 99-yard play and led the Badgers to a victory, thrilling the crowd.

When news surfaced on Monday, September 8, 2003, that this event was not a technical or human malfunction, but rather a decision by campus officials, the students launched a protest. Petitions circulated and students pushed back against administration. Structural engineers confirmed that the stadium would suffer no structural damage caused by the vibrations created by jumping. Two days later, Chancellor John D. Wiley announced that the "Jump Around" tradition would resume.[13]

Other uses

The stadium is also used by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association for its state football championships.

The Green Bay Packers played 12 exhibition games at Camp Randall, which has a larger seating capacity than the Packers' home stadium, Lambeau Field. The series began in 1986, shortly after the Chicago Bears began to use nearby University of Wisconsin-Platteville as a training camp site. The most recent pre-season Packers game at Camp Randall was in 1999.

The University of Wisconsin men's and women's ice hockey teams each played an outdoor hockey game at Camp Randall Stadium on February 6, 2010, as part of the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic. The Wisconsin women defeated Bemidji State 6-1, while the Badger men beat Michigan 3-2.

Camp Randall has also hosted a number of major concerts, including: Pink Floyd (May 20, 1988, and July 3, 1994), Genesis (June 9, 1992), U2 (September 13, 1992, and June 25, 1997) & The Rolling Stones (August 26, 1994, and October 6, 1997)

Drum Corps International used the stadium as the site for its world championships in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1999, 2002, and 2006.

The Camp Randall Complex

The Camp Randall athletic complex also includes three other facilities.

The Field House was home to the UW basketball teams until January 1998, when they moved into the Kohl Center. It is still home to Wisconsin's wrestling and women's volleyball teams.

The Dave McClain Athletic Facility, an indoor football practice facility, was built to honor the late Badgers football coach, Dave McClain. In addition to the indoor practice field, it also houses locker rooms for football, men's and women's track, and softball. Strength and conditioning, sports medicine, and academic services also have facilities in the building.

The Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center ("The Shell") features a 200 meter indoor track surrounding several facilities for intramural sports. The indoor track facilities are used by the UW track teams during their indoor seasons. The Shell also houses a practice ice sheet and the locker room for the women's ice hockey team.

Longest Home Winning Streaks

Rank Started Snapped Streak
1st October 31, 2009 October 27, 2012 21
2nd September 9, 2006 October 8, 2008 16
3rd September 4, 2004 November 12, 2005 11
4th November 18, 1961 October 26, 1963 9
5th September 12, 1998 September 25, 1999 8
T-6th October 25, 2008 October 17, 2009 7
T-6th November 2, 1996 November 15, 1997 7
8th November 8, 1958 November 14, 1959 6

Note: Streaks do not include ties.

Largest Crowds

The following are the ten largest crowds in stadium history:

  • 1. 83,184 November 12, 2005 vs Iowa
  • 2. 83,069 November 6, 2004 vs #24 Minnesota
  • 3. 83,022 September 24, 2005 vs #13 Michigan
  • 4. 82,828 October 22, 2005 vs Purdue
  • 5. 82,630 September 22, 2007 vs Iowa
  • 6. 82,468 October 23, 2004 vs Northwestern
  • 7. 82,352 November 10, 2007 vs #13 Michigan
  • 8. 82,330 October 1, 2005 vs Indiana
  • 9. 82,306 October 2, 2004 vs Illinois
  • 10. 82,179 September 25, 2004 vs Penn State


  1. Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  2. Madison: 1856-1931,Madison: 1856-1931. The University of Wisconsin Press. Retrieved on September 28, 2011. ISBN 0-299-21674-8.
  3. Camp Randall Stadium -
  4. Guiher, Joshua (14 June 2012). Wisconsin Turf Finished at Camp Randall Stadium. Collegiate Stadiums. Retrieved on 3 September 2012.
  5. Baggot, Andy. "Count Again, UW It Retired 4 Numbers But Will Display 5", August 17, 2006. Retrieved on June 6, 2012. 
  6. Richter's Jersey Number to be Retired
  7. Carleton, Gwen. "Justices Hear 'Stampede' Case", January 7, 1999, p. 3A. 
  8. "Thirty-Five Arrested, More Than 100 Ejected From Ohio State Game But No Serious Injuries", October 17, 2010. Retrieved on October 17, 2010. 
  9. "Students Rush Field, Memories of 1993 Crush Fizzle", October 17, 2010. Retrieved on October 17, 2010. 
  10. Greater Bucky Open - Camp Randall Stadium, Accessed June 3, 2008
  11. Brown, Jen (September 30, 2005). Wisconsin Football: More Than a Game. ABC News. Retrieved on June 3, 2008.
  12. Orris, Michelle. "Kiss ‘Jump Around’ Goodbye", September 8, 2003. Retrieved on June 3, 2008. 
  13. 'Jump Around' Tradition Returns to Student Section. University of Wisconsin-Madison (September 10, 2003). Retrieved on June 3, 2008.

External links

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