Although fans will not be allowed into the Camp Randall Stadium for the University of Wisconsin football game in 2020, the athletics department plans to accommodate multiple people in the stadium on match days.
Fewer than 1,500 people, mostly family members of Badgers footballers and staff members, are expected to be at the stadium for home games starting October 24, senior athletics director Jason King said Wednesday.
The Big Ten Conference decided not to allow the general public to participate in football matches during the 2020 season which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The number of people allowed into Badgers home games includes about 500 parents of UW players and 70 members of the coaching family and other staff, King told the Joint Campus Area Committee.
UW plans about 400 parent visiting team members for each match, King said. Only people deemed essential to the operation of the game are allowed outside the group.
The top ten football players and staff members will become undergo daily rapid COVID-19 testing to guide participation decisions. The same test will also be given to all those whose jobs require them to be on the field during matches, King said.
Members of the Joint Campus Area Committee voiced concern Wednesday about potential fans to follow and gather around Camp Randall on match days.
The committee members also asked the stadium speaker volume to be reduced so that noise does not spill outside the venue.
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“What we’re trying, really, to do is not get a large number of the public drawn to the perimeter and space around Camp Randall,” Ald said. Tag Evers, District 13.
Campus planning director Gary Brown said UW parking lots will be closed on match days in addition to those required for some attendees and those with campus businesses in the area. Transportation planner Rob Kennedy said the facility would be monitored.
“We’ll be out there,” said Kennedy. “And I think we’ll be able to control it very well.”
Evers and Ald. Siwa Bidar, District 5, whose territory includes the Regent and its surroundings, has questioned this whether home football matches will attract large groups that can spread the coronavirus.
Bidar told the committee that the City Council would consider action to ban the sale of food or merchandise that normally takes place outside Camp Randall on match days. He said the city would also not approve a temporary alcohol license for this football season.
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Bars and other establishments that have permits to own beer gardens will be restricted, Bidar said. Those businesses would not be allowed to serve from bars in beer gardens, he said; all servings will take place at a table limited to six people and spaced apart from each other.
The DPR party is another matter, said Bidar.
“I worry less about alcohol-licensed companies than with other non-licensed activities,” he said.