Badger Game Day Guide: What football fans need to know ahead of kickoff
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Badger Football will take the field Friday night against Illinois and this season has been full of changes so far.
Big Ten had originally decided to push fall sports to the spring on the basis of player safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but reversed course five weeks later on Sept. 16 to give football a shot. University of Wisconsin- Madison will kick off the Big Ten’s return, while the rest of the conference starts Saturday.
NBC15 has all the information Badger Fans may need to enjoy the game this week.
Homecoming will be virtual this year
While in-person homecoming events may not be happening this year at UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Association has put together virtual programming to keep Badger fans and alumni connected.
Sarah Schutt, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, said some activities include a virtual version of Fill the Hill, an online scavenger hunt including Bucky, as well as a Friday evening event she said would take the place of the traditional block party.
Tailgating, house parties are not encouraged
The Madison Police Dept. wanted campus-area bars and people planning house parties to know neither Halloween nor the start of Badger football counts as a good reason to violate the city’s order capping how many people are allowed at public gatherings.
In addition to warnings for bars, police want people planning their own celebrations to know house parties and other gatherings are verboten too. MPD points out violators risk being cited for creating or permitting a health nuisance, which would carry a fine of $376, at least, among other potential counts.
PHMDC’s emergency order caps indoor gatherings at 10 people – not including employees – and requires social distancing and masks. Outdoor gatherings can have 25 people or less, with similar restrictions.
For those who attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the police department states the university’s Dean of Students will be working with officers to make sure any offending students would be held accountable for their actions.
Honoring game day traditions from home
The Wisconsin Alumni Association has created the Badger Huddle: The Armchair Pre-Game. The online video series aims to get fans excited and take them around campus to see some of the iconic game day spots.
The videos will be posted on the association’s YouTube page, as well as social media starting late October. The videos also aim to reveal some new sides to familiar traditions.
Fans are not allowed in the stands
UW also announced that only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the Badger Football season opener at Camp Randall, meaning no family of players or coaches will be able to attend. The university cited the significant increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Wisconsin.
The marching band will also not play at any games this season, per a ruling by the Big Ten Conference. According to a COVID-19 update from the band, they said they look forward to a time where they can suit up again and perform for the the team. Big Ten can revisit the decision at a later time, but the marching band noted this is where things currently stand.
While Badger fans may not be able to be physically present at Camp Randall Stadium on game days, their “Bucky Board” can be.
Fans can purchase a “Bucky Board,” which is a cardboard cut-out of themselves, friends or family to show off their support for the team. Even pets can show off their Badger pride.
How to watch
Fans may not be allowed into Camp Randall Stadium for the Badgers home opener this year, but they won’t have to miss the action on their televisions.
The Badger game will start at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
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