MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Plans will move forward to renovate the south end zone of Camp Randall Stadium.
Conceptual rendering of the south end zone at Camp Randall. Once an architect is selected the official design process will begin and new renderings will be released as they become available. Courtesy: Wisconsin Athletics
According to an email sent Thursday to UW-Madison alumni and athletic supporters, Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced the Camp Randall Future project launched a website for people to preview the upcoming renovation.
The website includes an overview of the project, initial concept renderings, and a section to understand the scope of the renovation.
The Camp Randall renovation project, labeled the CR Future project, started with feedback from Badgers ticket-holders and national customer service trends.
"This is a historic and exciting day for Wisconsin Athletics as we look forward to the next chapter of Camp Randall Stadium," said Alvarez. "When it comes to the game-day experience, you have to stay up with fans' needs and wants. This is something really exciting for me."
In 2015, a survey was conducted. In March, UW Athletics announced a multi-year partnership with Legends, a New York City based company, to oversee the renovation. Legends has worked with NFL teams, MLB clubs, and other colleges, such as Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and USC.
The UW's deputy athletic director, Chris McIntosh, tells NBC15 that its meant to get Badger fans off the couch and into the stadium.
"You're seeing projects like this take place in a lot of pro and college venues. A lot of field level access so that's a new place for fans to be. Kind of an open-air space where they can move around and not be confined to a single seat," McIntosh says.
"Our fans today are looking for an open air experience in which they can feel the game and feel like they're apart of the game - a higher level of hospitality but yet being apart of that experience," McIntosh added.
The project will be funded with state-bonded dollars, private donations and revenue associated with new premium seating options. An architect has yet to be selected, but UW-Madison is expecting to have one in place by the end of 2019.
According to Wisconsin Athletics, Camp Randall is one of the oldest football stadiums in college football. Renovating the south end zone would keep UW-Madison competitive to help attract and retain coaches, athletes, and its fan base.
The project calls for loge boxes, club seats, access to indoor hospitality and outdoor terraces. There are plans for climate-controlled amenities, and there will be premium food and beverage offerings.
"We knew that we were short on premium (seating) space," said Jason King, the Wisconsin senior associate athletic director who oversees capital projects. "We basically didn't have anything to offer. When we did the survey, we had something special like this in mind."
Barry Alvarez, former UW Badgers coach and current UW-Madison athletic director, said he is excited for the renovation.
“As you progress in college athletics and you study what fans want – its premium seating. It’s more than sitting in a regular seat,” Alvarez told NBC15’s sister station, WSAW, Thursday.
“There was a need for more, so we have a nice resign. I think it will help the game-day experience for our fans,” Alvarez said.
Careful considerations are being made to create a new design that blends with the Field House, which opened in 1930.
In 2001, a $109.5 million dollar project began to raise capacity at the stadium It was completed in 2005, to the current capacity at 80,321. New scoreboards were added in 2013. With the south end zone renovations, officials estimate between 2,000 and 4,000 new seating opportunities will be created.
A small number of season ticket holders will be without seats as a result of the renovation. Affected season ticket holders received a letter regarding the changes and are being helped by the Wisconsin Athletics team to navigate the different options.