MADISON — The UW-Badgers announced new changes for the football program Wednesday, as COVID-19 cases surge in Wisconsin.
Only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the game against Illinois for the season opener on Oct. 23 or 24 at Camp Randall. Previously, families of players and coaches were allowed to attend. The specific day and time of the game will be announced at a later date.
Attendance inside Camp Randall will now be limited from about 1,500 to only players and coaches from both teams, essential public safety and stadium operations personnel, and a limited number of broadcasters and journalists.
"Given the high rates of infection in the state of Wisconsin, we don't want anyone in the stadium who doesn't need to be there," Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a statement. "I've said that our fans should think about all of our football games as away games this year."
"It's unfortunate that circumstances will no longer allow us to invite families to attend, but we support this decision and know that the safety of our students, staff and community has to be our top priority," Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said. "We know Badger games are usually a time when we can come together, but right now we are urging everyone to watch our games safely and responsibly."
The Badgers will also be making the following changes (verbatim):
- Tailgating, loitering, and open containers will not be permitted anywhere on campus.
- Campus lots will be closed, except for UW employees with a baselot permit, using it for work purposes. Lots will be staffed to ensure that no tailgating occurs.
- During all home football weekends, there will be no game day sponsor activations or hospitality events•Normal traditions, such as Badgerville and Badger Bash, will not be held.•The Badger Band and Spirit Squad will not be present at the football game or perform on campus.
- Breese Terrace will be open to vehicular traffic for all games.
- Campus and City of Madison vending and merchandise locations will not be available along Breese Terrace or in the park area between Breese, Regent and Monroe. The main Bucky's Locker Room at Gate 1 will remain closed during game days.