The Badgers have battled the fellow Big Ten Rival, the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Heartland Trophy for almost every year for over 100 years. They battle over a ‘gold pig statue,' but it’s the commonalities b/w the two programs and the fans that make this rivalry special.
Rival Team: Penn State Lions, Michigan State Spartans, Ohio State Buckeyes
Badger fans love their Big Ten football, so when any of the routine powerhouses come into town, it always makes for an awesome, hard-hitting, and usually very close game. These three teams often get picked for the night game, so if they’re scheduled w/ a “TBD” and it’s mid-October (before it gets cold!), we highly recommend these games.
Badgers Tailgate Guide
The 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, namely the GameDay Bibs, Throwback Wisconsin Gear, Guys wearing badgers, Cheeseheads, kids with jerseys of the current stars, and the occasional painted Red Guy running around campus.
Traditionally, the older alumni and families stay around the stadium, but students will either be near the Frat Row, at apartment parties, or at the neighborhoods next to the stadium. Each area will have its vibe, but the constant is that all college aged Badger fans will be slamming brewski’s and taking pulls off their favorite hard liquor from plastic bottles in copious amounts.
However, one thing that is different from Wisconsin than other large party schools is the small amount of traditional tailgating. There’s limited parking near the stadium (since the school shares Madison with the Capitol) so most fans tend to park & then go to one of the popular places on campus or bars near the stadium. Either way, about 30 minutes before kickoff, 95% of fans will still be outside of the stadium, getting their last bites or drinks. Be sure to wear Red, join the ‘Sea of Red”, grab a brat & join the hurried march to the stadium!
One of the most fun things to do (and very family friendly) is the Badger Bash held at Union South. The UW-Madison “Union” is very well known for the Terrace, but Union South is the spot on Gameday. The band comes and plays, there’s food, drinks, and a huge crowd. The best part is that it’s steps away from the Stadium!
After you stop by the Badger Bash at Union South, be sure to follow the band as they lead fans to the Stadium. You'll walk straight through the Camp Randall Arch!
Where to tailgate
Badger BashThe 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!
Parking LotsEven though Madison isn’t known for their ‘traditional tailgating’ it’s still better than most places! The map shows where fans can / can’t tailgate, but most fans typically will have trucks out in the South-East of the stadium. If you’re not making food, then most Badger fans can be convinced to trade some cheese curds for a brat or a brew, so come packing!
Breese TerraceThis is the street to the West of the Stadium. Almost every student house has a party, so either throw the KegMaster $5 for some access to the Keg or bring your own and share. Most of the guys will be cool with it unless you’re wearing the opposite colors! (a $20 should suffice then..)
Badgers Stadium Guide
The in-game atmosphere at Camp Randall rivals the outside, and it’s hard to decide which is a better all around experience, which is a great problem to have for fans! Wisconsin Fans always bring their energy and absolute loyalty towards the Badgers to every game, and it results in an utterly magical and perfect place to watch a football game. It’s quite common to see grown men with giant badger furs or cheeseheads walking around, or an entire student section taunting a visiting student in their section & feel like the worst person on earth.
During the game, it seems as though every few minutes there’s another tradition being started, and they’re all unique, fun, and entertaining at the same time. The Badgers play a hard-hitting style of football, with plenty of running plays and touchdowns. Expect to be standing and cheering more than ½ the time, all while joining in on the many traditions. To close, as a true Sconnie & Badger would say When you say Wisconsin, You’ve said it all!”
It’s been voted one of the best college traditions, and it starts at the end of the 3rd Quarter, where the student sections ‘race’ on the scoreboard through an animated video. After the sections cheer for their team (and a section wins) House of Payne’s “Jump Around” starts playing, and the entire stadium starts jumping up and down. It’s by far one of the coolest things you’ll see!
Even though it’ll probably be closed on gameday, The ‘Old Gym” is the giant stone building at the South Endzone. It was the old Basketball gym (it still houses the VolleyBall and wrestling teams) and is a pretty epic throwback and an excellent place to walk around it.
Throughout the concourse of Camp Randall, you’ll see images of old Badger greats decorated through the walls. It’ll be hard to stop and read much of it (since inside the stadium is so much fun) but if you have the time, check it out!
The band performs after the game, called the “5th Quarter” as fans leave the stadium. It’s usual to see 40k-50k fans stay after the game (more than ½ of all fans!) stay for the band to play Wisconsin Favorites and also some great modern day tunes. Everyone is welcome to stay and enjoy!
On Wisconsin is one of the most popular college fight songs because of it’s fast and upbeat nature. It’s used by 100’s of high schools throughout the nation, so if you’d heard the tune before, you know where it started!
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Plunge right through that line! Run the ball clear down the field, A touchdown sure this time. On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Fight on for her fame Fight! Fellows! Fight, fight, fight! We’ll win this game.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Stand up, Badgers, sing! “Forward” is our driving spirit, Loyal voices ring. On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame Stand, Fellows, Let us now Salute her name!
Is Wisconsin’s “Varsity” Song. Be sure to grab a fellow Badger (or the people next to you, and slowly sway to ‘Varsity’!
Var-sity! Var-sity! U-rah-rah! Wisconsin! Praise to thee we sing Praise to thee our Alma Mater U-rah-rah, Wisconsin!
(Fanfare of trumpets, followed by:)
Our Team is RED HOT! (two drum beats and repeat until hoarse)
If You Want to be a Badger
Our personal favorite Badger song. It’s not the official fight song, but it does have it’s own dance / hand movements. A favorite of all!
If you want to be a Badger, Just come along with me, By the light, by the light, By the light of the moon. If you want to be a Badger, Just come along with me, By the bright shining light of the moon.
By the light of the moon, By the light of the moon, By the bright shining light, By the light of the moon. If you want to be a Badger, Just come along with me, By the bright shining light of the moon.
Another Fan Favorite, it’s a polka song from an old Budweiser commercial, but Wisconsin adopted it after a 1978 epic, come from behind win over Oregon. You’ll see plenty of Badgers polka-ing in the stands during this song!