Friday, the Badgers kickoff for the first time in 2020. Fans won’t be allowed in the stadium, and Tuesday, Madison’s Common Council threw a hail marry to discourage tailgating.
After much deliberation and more than 40 players testing positive for Covid-19 last month, the Badgers are still playing 8 games–4 at home.
In a live feed with the Wisconsin Alumni Association, Deputy Athletic Director Chris McIntosh says he hopes the campus will be quiet on game day. “Minimizing the transmission of Covid gives us the best chance of playing the next week, and the next week, and the next week,” he explains. “We’ve got strict tolerances in terms of our metrics that we need to meet–that our team needs to meet to be able to compete. It’s our hope throughout the Big Ten that we will be able to do that.” McIntosh also says that because of the delayed start to the season, any cancelled games couldn’t be rescheduled.
For folks wanting to tailgate, they are out of luck. Campus parking lots will be staffed by UW Transportation services to keep groups from gathering.
Discouraging tailgating further, last night, the city council passed an ordinance to suspend vending licenses around Camp Randall Stadium and on game days. Typically, there are 6 on-site preparation food vendors and 14 prepackaged food vendors directly outside the stadium, and more than 50 vendors along Regent St and Randall Ave. According to the legislation and based on last season, vendors are projected to lose a total of $19,000.
Madison Mayor Sayta Rhodes-Conway, along with 11 other mayors, signed a letter Monday to the Big Ten Conference. They urge officials to consider not only players’ Covid-19 rates, but also the spread in the college cities at large.
Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers suggested watching the game from your couch. “At the end of the day, watching the game can be just as fun watching it with the small number of people you’re living with–that you know are Covid-free,” he says.