With phase two of Camp Randall's $107.9 million renovation complete and a host of new amenities now in operation, this season's Badger football fans will have a whole new reason to \Jump Around"" at home games.
Consisting of three phases, Camp Randall's renovation aims to improve both structural and spectator-oriented aspects of the stadium, according to John Chadima, UW-Madison's associate athletic director. Because phase one was composed largely of infrastructural modernization, he explained, the numerous spectator-based improvements of phase two offer an excellent opportunity for fans to experience the evolution the stadium has undergone.
Among the latest improvements are a new sound system and lights, the enclosure of the south end zone, the completion of the Camp Randall Suites, Buckingham Club and Varsity Club premium seating, and revamped concession and restroom areas, according to Chadima and Associate Athletic Director Steve Malchow.
However, the most noticeable difference for fans will likely be the three giant replay scoreboards installed across the rim of the stadium. At 170 feet by 50 feet, the replay scoreboard over the student section of the stadium is the largest in college football, Malchow said.
""It's a totally different facility,"" he said.
Yet Chadima is quick to point out much remains in store for Camp Randall's future.
""We are putting the word out more than anything that we are at half time for renovation,"" he explained.
September 2005 is the tentative finish date for the concourse remodeling, mostly on the stadium's west side.
Planning for the renovation has been in the works long before phase one started.
""The building is old and it was starting to deteriorate,"" Malchow said. ""If we hadn't undertaken some very serious construction issues in terms of sealing the bowl, et cetera, the building would have eventually fallen apart.""
Financially, the renovation was supported by bonds recompensed by the Athletics Department and ""an aggressive fund-raising and donation campaign"" that included selling premium seating, according to Malchow. State assistance was used for the first portion, yet state funds were very few overall, Chadima explained.
UW-Madison sophomore Jeanne Grabowski who expressed reservation toward the new stadium features due to their cost, still said she realized the importance of Madison's football tradition.
""[Football]'s such a big part of the tradition of going here,"" she said. ""For some people it gives the school its name.""
""[Camp Randall] is going to be one of the most impressive venues in the country, both fan amenities-wise and atmosphere-wise,"" Chadima said.
-Eric Reinert contributed to this report.