The Wisconsin Badgers are in one of the prettiest cities in the US: Madison, Wisconsin. I mean, look at the below! It’s a smaller city, that I promise will not disappoint. If you’re planning to head that way for a game day, be sure to read along for information on tailgating at Wisconsin! Unfortunately, there is quite limited space when it comes to traditional tailgating, so the pre-game experience for the Badgers is a bit more unique. Worth the read if you’re new to the experience.

Wisconsin Tailgate Service

Before Game Day

After you’ve decided to attend a game in Madison, you want to get some of the basic logistics out of the way. Lock in your game tickets, book your flights & accommodations and coordinate your transportation. Once these pieces are taken care of, onto the fun stuff!

2022 Home Schedule

  • Sept. 3 – Illinois State
  • Sept. 10 – Washington State
  • Sept. 17 – New Mexico State
  • Oct. 1 – Illinois
  • Oct. 22 – Purdue
  • Nov. 5 – Maryland
  • Nov. 26 – Minnesota

Game Tickets

If you’re a fan of the badgers, you can request tickets through their ticket office directly here. They offer season tickets, mini-plans (great for parents with kids attending the university), and single-game tickets.

You can also find tickets through third-party sites like StubHub, Vivid Seats, etc. but be prepared to pay some hefty service fees. It’s crazy how sometimes service fees can cost as much as the tickets themselves.

If you’re a fan of the away team traveling into town, be sure to check in with your own team’s ticket office. They’ll have an allotment for the away fans. If you’re interested in sitting with your fellow fans, this is likely the best route to go!

Accommodations

Camp Randall Stadium, and the University of Wisconsin’s campus, are located right in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin. Makes it super nice when you’re traveling since there are so many hotels within walking distance to the stadium.

If you want something close by – you can check out TripAdvisor- Hotels Near Camp Randall Stadium or the 15 Closest Hotels to Camp Randall on Hotels.com. You’ll see a variety of options at different price points.

If you’re looking for a bit more space or staying with a larger group of friends/family, you can also check out Airbnb for rentals. When reviewing these options, there aren’t a ton in the heart of downtown, they are a bit more on the outskirts. Totally cool, but just something to consider when planning out your weekend. You might need to utilize rideshare a bit more.

Travel & Transportation

If you’re flying in, you’ll want to fly into Dane County Regional Airport. It’s a smaller airport, super close to the main downtown area.

Given how small of a city Madison is, if you’re flying in, you don’t need to book a rental car for the weekend. Especially if you’re staying in the downtown area. It’s easy to grab an Uber/Lyft to your hotel, and then you’ll easily be able to walk, grab Uber’s, etc. for the remainder of the weekend.

Pre-Game Experience at Wisconsin

Wisconsin Badgers TailgatingThe second you step onto campus on game day in Madison, you can feel the energy and excitement in the air. We’ve yet to find a place where the fans wear so much game day swag. It’s a straight see of red, and a lot of adults wearing gameday bibs (as shown to the left).

You’ll typically find the older fans, alumni, and families around the stadium, but the students will be at apartment parties, Frat Row, or in the surrounding neighborhoods to the stadium where they or friends live.

Tailgating at Wisconsin

Given that the stadium is in the heart of the city, there’s not a ton of open grass areas, or large flat surface parking lots, for folks to tailgate in. For such a BIG party school, there’s quite limited traditional tailgating due to the limited space. Because of the limited parking & space, most fans tend to park a ways off-campus and then go to a popular bar on the walk to the stadium.

Ultimately, about 30 minutes before kick-off, 95% of fans will be outside the stadium. Be sure to wear Red, join the ‘Sea of Red’, grab a hot dog & join the march into the stadium!

Popular Bars & Restaurants near the Stadium!

If you’re looking to go the restaurant or bar route for your pre-game experience, here are some popular options nearby to look at:

Jordan’s Big Ten Pub – this is a football-themed sports tavern with a very pub-like menu. This is a great option if you and your friends/family are looking to catch some other games on that day! They typically also utilize their parking lot on game days for folks to hang around and enjoy a beer outside.

Best Bars in MadisonLucky’s 1313 Brew Pub – this place has some great craft beer, tasty cocktails, and delicious food. And the vibe is SO COOL. It’s located at 1313 Regent Street and reflects the location’s past home as a bus depot and car specialist. The enormous 11,000 square foot building with soaring raw wood ceilings, original restored skylights, metal beams, exposed brick, and more is a sight to see.

Badgerland Bar & Grill – this bar is in the Doubletree hotel and is SWAMPED on game days. It’s the home of some sports talk radio broadcasts too. If you’re going here, make sure to get one of their flatbread pizzas.

Kollege Klub – this is the go-to for frats for years. It’s regarded as the best camps bar for football games primarily because of its tradition and the fact that a good number of football players show up here after the game. It’s located on campus at 529 N Lake Street.

For more great options for the pre-game or post-game in Madison, check out this comprehensive list from On Milwaukee – Game On: Madison’s best Pre- and Post-Game Bars!

Badger Bash

The Badger Bash is a pre-game tradition at Union South, which is across the street from Camp Randall. Here you’ll find 1000’s of Wisconsin fans, a gift shop, brats & beer served almost everywhere. Most importantly, the band performs here before the game for about 30 minutes and then leads the fans into the stadium. It’s a must for all 1st Timers!

Some more details on the event:

It opens 2.5 hours before kick-off, for every home football game. The event itself is free, open to the public, and even welcomes away fans!

It includes:

  • UW-Madison Marching Band performance (approx. 1.5 hrs before kickoff)
  • UW-Madison Spirit Squad performances
  • Local celebrity emcees
  • Fun & games by our sponsors
  • Live music
  • More than 100 fresh, hot food & beverage options
  • The best game-day restrooms in Madison

If you follow the band to the stadium after their performance, they’ll walk you straight through the Camp Randall Arch, which is a definite stop on your weekend trip to Madison.

For more info on the Badger Bash, click here.

Wisconsin Badger Bash

Wisconsin Badgers Game Day Gear

Wisconsin Tailgate Grill UtensilsIf you need some gameday refreshes – here are some great attire and gear our team has found online. Let’s face it, most of our game day gear has been sitting in the garage or the back of the closet for going on two years at this point, it could be worth freshening it up a bit! When tailgating at Wisconsin, you’ve got to rep your team well!

Wisconsin Badger Tailgate Tent

If you have a grill master in the family, this 3 Piece BBQ set is a great addition to rep your team while either doing a cook-out at home for an away game or tailgating on campus! Linked here.

You can find the tent shown to the right here.

Wisconsin Badger Tailgate Chair

If you could use some new game day chairs – we always recommend the Logo brand for these. We find they last the best season after season. Here’s the traditional Wisconsin branded one, linked here.

 

Wisconsin AttireWisconsin Badgers HoodieIf you need some new attire, we always recommend checking out Fanatics. They have a great selection of attire for everyone in the family. You can find the black sweatshirt here, and the red crewneck here.

 

Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin is ranked as one of the happiest places in America. Once you visit, you’ll understand why. The landscape is breathtaking, with the city being surrounded by beautiful lakes. You can’t go outside and not be happy in this city! Then when you top it with all the fun areas, activities, and food & beverage to explore, you’re going to be one happy camper. On top of it all, it’s the Midwest, and full of some of the nicest people!

Wisconsin State CapitolDane County Farmer’s Market – this farmer’s market is HUGE, typically having 200+ stalls at a time. You can expect to find some diverse treats including fruits, veggies, flowers, local products like cheese and honey. A trip to Wisconsin is not complete without trying some cheese!

Wisconsin State Capitol – if you’re a fan of history, seeing the state capitol is a good easy stop to add to your weekend. It has the only granite dome in the U.S. – fun fact!

For a super-comprehensive list – check out 15 Best Things to Do in Madison – Crazy Tourist!

Wrap Up!

Hope this helps you plan your trip out to Madison this coming fall! If you have any questions, or any fun tips for fellow travelers, leave them in the comments below.

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