A normally packed Regent St. remains a ghost town on game day

Popular bars remained open, but only at 25 percent capacity under local health guidelines.
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 8:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - In stark contrast with a typical UW Badger Football game, popular areas for fans remained quiet during Friday’s home opener against Illinois.

“It’s weird. It’s ominous. It’s a dead town,” said UW Madison Junior Derek Rogerberg.

Regent Street, a spot that would typically be a sea of crimson red with people lined up to go to bars and tailgates, did not give fans much indication a game was even set to be played.

Bars like Jordan’s Big Ten Pub, Sconnie Bar and Lucky’s 1313 Brew Pub opened doors, but only to people who made reservations ahead of time. In Dane County, local laws require indoor dining to be capped at 25 percent capacity.

The Sconnie Bar general manager, Lucas Simon-Wambach said this year the goal is to limit movement and allow people to have a safe and fun place to watch the game.

“The excitement that people have around game day is still there. Obviously the number of people will be spread across the city across the state,” he said.

Simon-Wambach said they would have a max capacity of just 40 people inside and 180 people outside. In any other year, they could host up to 1,200 guests.

Lucky’s 1313 Brew Pub only had indoor seating, with a max of 80 people.

With no outdoor tailgates or big parties, most students said they would celebrate indoors with just a few close friends or roommates. Since fans could not be in the stands at Camp Randall either, it is traditions like doing the ‘Jump Around’ that will be missed the most.

“It’s kind of like a mosh pit where you’re kind of just slamming into everyone. It’s super loud and crazy and fun. We’re going to try to do that in our apartment,” UW Madison Sophomore Calliana Wickus said.

UW Madison Police said they would be out monitoring campus to make sure people followed public health guidelines. Madison Police officers were also out and about checking in on any activity in surrounding areas.

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