UW unveiled its "Celebrate The Legacy" campaign Wednesday, with events planned to mark what is being billed as the grand re-opening of Camp Randall Stadium. The 80,000-plus seat venue has undergone a major renovation, which will be completed in time for the Badgers' season opener with Bowling Green Sept. 3.
The UW athletics department has scheduled a week of celebrations leading up to the home opener. In addition, each home game throughout the season will include cause for a great deal of nostalgia.
"The fact that we're trying to emphasize is that Camp Randall Stadium is such a special place," said Vince Sweeney, senior associate athletic director. "It's a gathering place for people throughout many, many decades."
Fans who have been wondering where their favorite former Badgers are now will have a chance to see more than 425 past players and coaches, dating back as far as the 1930s, on the field Sept. 3.
The Badger alumni, including former head coach Jim Hilles, will be represented by former player and athletic director Pat Richter, one of the honorary captains for opening day. The others will be Ted and Jack Kellner, whose name adorns the Kellner Hall athletics office building, and Cullen-Smith project executive Jim Schumacher, who will represent about 1,000 people — Cullen-Smith employees and members of their families — that will grace the field prior to kickoff. In addition, about 475 veterans in more than 40 color guards from across Wisconsin will present the colors for the national anthem.
The soon-to-be completed renovation is the first major work done to Camp Randall since the upper deck was added to the west side of the stadium in 1966. For that reason, the Badgers will don throwback uniforms of the style worn in the early 1960s for the Sept. 3 game.
"It's going to be a cool year," said fullback Matt Bernstein, who joined left tackle Joe Thomas and cornerback Brett Bell in modeling the old-time uniforms. "It's coach (Barry) Alvarez's last year. I'm really excited… They are bringing back all the former players so a bunch of our friends will be back here."
The complete throwback uniforms (helmet, jersey, pants, socks and shoes) worn by the Badgers during the season opener will be auctioned off at www.uwbadgers.com between Sept. 3 and the week of Sept. 19, when UW hosts Michigan to open Big Ten play.
One of the "Greatest Camp Randall Stadium memories", as voted on last year, will be honored at each of the six home games this season. The top vote getter was the ‘Dayne's day' in 1999, when tailback Ron Dayne broke the NCAA rushing record and helped clinch UW's third trip to the Rose Bowl in seven years in a win over Iowa. That event will be celebrated when UW hosts Purdue, the fifth home game of the year.
The other winning memories include: ‘Bohlig to Mack' (1974 versus Nebraska), ‘Fletcher interception return' (1998 vs. Purdue), ‘Road to Pasadena' (1993 vs. Michigan and Ohio State), ‘the "bounce pass"' (1982 vs. Illinois) and ‘Schabert to Evans' (2003 vs. Ohio State). All six are being commemorated on six packs of Coca-Cola this fall.
In addition, the UW will ask fans to share their favorite Camp Randall memories. Selected anecdotes will be published in game programs and all will be available at www.uwbadgers.com.
The week-long celebration leading up to the opener includes:
- Saturday, Aug. 27: Camp Randall Stadium Open House, with free tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 28: Football Family Fun Day. Free event from 3-5 p.m. at Camp Randall, featuring Badger players and coaches available for autographs.
- Monday, Aug. 29: Badger Day Madison. $30 admission for celebration benefiting UW athletic department on the north practice field. Includes Badger coaches, spirit squad, Bucky Badger and the UW Band.
- Wednesday, Aug. 31: Practice open for viewing to UW students.
UW also announced that the primary athletic ticket office has been moved to Camp Randall. It will be open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The ticket office at the Kohl Center will still be open on game days for men's and women's basketball and men's and women's hockey.