Madison Roll Call

Submitted by Walter Sobchak on August 22nd, 2017 at 10:25 AM

Top of the morning to everyone.


My wife and I are continuing our quest to see a game in every Big Ten Stadium this year by heading to Madison for the game this November.  Ive heard alot of positive things about the gameday experience in Madison and we are pretty stoked about the trip.   Does anybody have any advice to make our experience as good as it can be?   Is anyone else making the drive from Michigan?   Is anyone else heading to any road games this year?


Go Blue!



August 22nd, 2017 at 10:43 AM ^

The Terrace at the Union is pretty spectacular overlooking the lake; plus, unlike most college unions, Wisconsin has a full service bar (and great food, plenty of brats and cheese curds to suit your fancy). I believe the Edgewater Hotel also lets people in to their bars/restaurants and is beautiful but a little more upscale. Occasionally the band will perform there before the game. Other than that, State Street, the Capitol, and Bascom Hill are some top spots, but most of downtown Madison is pretty cool. 


I'll be in Madison as well; both of my parents are Badger alums and one of my brothers goes there currently (besides myself being a Michigan alum, I have another brother who is a current student at UM now). Whole family is really looking forward to the trip, although they're very much looking to repay us with a loss after our family trip to Ann Arbor last year didn't end so great for most of the group!


Badger fans are definitely viewing this game as their biggest of the season at home; it should be a great atmosphere. 


In terms of seating: Michigan's sideline will be on the East side of the stadium, with the heaviest Michigan sections being in the Southeast Corner (Sections Y1-Y3, X and W). As for most stadiums, anywhere should be fine, but you should probably avoid sections immediately adjacent to the student section which comprises the entire North Endzone. My parents have two season tickets on the sideline, but we're selling those for profit and sitting all together in the South Endzone in Y3. 

Camp Randall isn't that big, so the upper deck doesn't feel like you're obscenely high up and actually has some pretty decent seats on the sideline. Additionally, the South Endzone backs up to the old, historic field house, meaning it doesn't get too high so you wouldn't feel way up in the endzone even if you were towards the top of the Y sections. 


Wisconsin is the only true road game I'll be attending, but I'll also be in Texas for the Florida game next week. 

His Dudeness

August 22nd, 2017 at 10:30 AM ^

Learn bar dice before you go.

If you learn it there expect to be sick off warm house gin.

EDIT: I'm for sure going to @IU and pretty likely I end up @Purdue as well.


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:08 AM ^

True...although this is an additional week later in the season. Would be the latest night game in Wisconsin history. 


I'd imagine the game time won't be announced until a minimum of late October. Primarily because the only other compelling game is Nebraska at Penn State. If PSU beats us in Happy Valley and Nebraska has beaten the Badgers in Lincoln, they would get the nod for any possible night game. 

That said, I don't think Nebraska will still be in the Big Ten race come late November. As long as we get to the Badgers with no more than one Big Ten loss, it will be a huge game. Is the early favorite for College Gameday that week as well. 

A State Fan

August 22nd, 2017 at 10:38 AM ^

Night before: can't go wrong with the Old Fashioned on the capitol square. But I also really like Wisconsin Brewing Tap House. And the Great Dane has really good food/beer too. But my favorite place in Madison is The Tipsy Cow, I dream of those french fries.

Breakfast: Marigold Kitchen near the capitol, or if you want a donut, Greenbush Bakery which is pretty close to the stadium. 

Didn't spend much time down there on game days, so not sure about parking/activities. There is a lot of parking on people's lawns within a few blocks of the stadium on the west side of Camp Randall for about $20 or so. But if you're staying downtown, walking there is probably the best plan.

House Mother

August 22nd, 2017 at 10:38 AM ^

I will be going. Ditto all of the spots SpikeFan recommends (Bascom Hill, though). I went to undergrad there and can vouch that it is one of the best college towns in the country. Go early so you can see the campus.  Great views of Lake Mendota from top of Observatory Drive. It is a little bit of a hike from Memorial Union, Observatory Drive, etc. to Camp Randall (the stadium) but definitely doable. You won't be sorry you did it.


August 22nd, 2017 at 1:00 PM ^

I've heard the ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee is great most of the time, but it's a bit of a gamble. It's pretty quick and painless, and can be beautiful on a nice day. 


I have also heard horror stories of people throwing up all over the boat when bad weather hit. So, go at your own risk. 


August 22nd, 2017 at 10:45 AM ^

Go to Karben4 Brewing: 3698 Kinsman Blvd. Madison, WI.  It is easily the best brewery in the state (although Lakefront is great as well).  

If you like the beer they have there, buy some and take it back with you as it's very hard to find out of state.


August 22nd, 2017 at 10:58 AM ^

I live down the road from Madison, I'll be there. Go check out a joint called Bassett Street Brunch Club, great eats!!  My other fave spot is Great Dane Brewing Co. Have fun, lets us know and maybe meet you at the game!

Go Blue.



August 22nd, 2017 at 11:00 AM ^

I will be making my first-ever visit to Madison this fall as well. Taking my daughter and making a Michigan/Packers weekend out of it. Still looking for Badgers tickets -- current plan is to wait out the prices a bit on StubHub. Any advice about possible areas to avoid sitting as an M fan at Camp Randall are appreciated. 


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:01 AM ^

I'll be going to the game. I also lived there for two years (live elsewhere now). 

As others mentioned, the Union is a cool experience if the weather is decent. The capitol and farmers market (may be a bit sparse this late in the year) are also worth visiting. State St is a nice stroll to see what the "college" part of town feels like. Willy St is the "hipster" part of town but has a lot of cool restaurants/bars. 

Some specific recommendations for restaurants/bars:

a pig in a fur coat -- excellent restaurant (James Beard winning chef), especially if you are a big meat eater

The Old Fashioned -- pretty good bar food, more a cool place for the experience (right on the capitol square and inside they have exposed brick and a bunch of old college flags).

L'Etoile -- high end French place but very good

Grampas Pizza --excellent thin crust pizza with fancier/higher end toppings

Salvatores Tomato Pies -- similar to Grandpas but not thin crust 

Forequarter-- farm to table type restaurant, a bit out of the way from other bars/restaurants

Natt Spil -- cheaper/quicker option. really hipster place with a weird interior and menu but really good. King St is the coolest street in Madison in my opinion

Marigold Kitchen -- excellent breakfast option. great omelettes but gets packed

Heritage tavern -- "upscale" bar food

Cento -- good italian spot

Lazy Janes - really good brunch/breakfast

Some more "institution" classic Madison type places: Weary Traveler (bad breath burger), Mickeys Dairy Bar (gets very crowded), handful of dive bars (Crystal Corner, Paradise, Silver Dollar, Gennas), Gotham Bagels, Ian's Pizza (late night drunk food only), Paul's pel'mini, Nitty Gritty (bar but with decent brunch), Tornado Steak House


Underground Butcher  has excellent sausages, (uncooked)brats, pretty much any type of meat if you are looking for something to grill for a tailgate.

Old Sugar Distellery makes some pretty good craft spirits. 

Madison Sourdough makes some great bread


One Barrel makes some excellent stuff. They brew new beers constantly so it can be hit or miss depending on what they are trying to brew.

Fantasy Factory has consistently good IPA's

New Glarus is an hour or so a way but they make a lot of great beers. 

Ale Asylum is local but they are only slightly above average in my opinion.

Mobcraft is basically a worse version of One Barrel (still make some good beers though)


House Mother

August 22nd, 2017 at 11:02 AM ^

Forgot to mention that if you are a runner, you might want to take the Lakeshore Path from Memorial Union out to Picnic Point and back. I think it's about a 5-mile loop if I remember correctly.

I will be going to all of the games, home and away,  except Florida. 


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:02 AM ^

Been to Camp Randal twice and had a blast each time I've gone.   Went in 81 when I was a Sr and learned there were different and "colorful" words to The Victors I'd never heard before.   Went back again in 05 and watched us blow a late 4th Qtr lead by going into a shell on offensive (shocking I know) and watched "Jump Around" up close and personal.

Worst thing that happened to me was a drive-by "fuck Michigan" at our tailgate in 05

Best thing that happened to me was everything else.  Fantastic city, fun people, great stadium and a blast to see a game there.

Have fun!

BTB grad

August 22nd, 2017 at 11:08 AM ^

Just graduated this spring and making the drive to Madison for my first away game. We have friends who are undergrads at UW so we will be invading the student section. Pretty excited for Jump Around and a Michigan win!


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:10 AM ^

Michigan Hockey is in town That weekend also at the Kohl Center


I highly doubt they would schedule the hockey game and the football game at the same time that saturday


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:37 AM ^

Might play the second game on Sunday afternoon, that's been known to happen. I expect the football game to be at night, or at least the late afternoon slot, which means a hockey game is logistically impossible that day.

A hockey-football Friday-Saturday twofer is a lot of fun, I recommend to any Michigan fans who want to make the trip for the football game. Wisconsin can really hop for home hockey games.


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:12 AM ^

My husband and I are going to this game too, from Northville. I think a few people from our tailgate group are taking the Alumni Association bus tour, but we're just driving. So wish we could go to Penn State but it will likely conflict with my son's football playoffs. 


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:11 AM ^

As someone who lives in WI, I have a completely different opinion of Badger fans and the Madison experience.  I find large amounts of their fanbase to be rude at best.  I have been to OSU and would rather attend a game in Columbus than in Madison when it comes to the fans.  Probably because no town in the Big Ten drinks like Madison.  The number of extremely intoxicated people will be nothing like you have witnessed at a Big Ten football game before.

When in Madison, the only choice for breakfast is Mickeys Dairy Bar.



August 22nd, 2017 at 11:13 AM ^

I am also coming in for the Wisconsin game from NYC, have spent a good amount of time in Madison (an awesome town) but have not been to a game at Camp Randall. Should hopefully be a winnable game and a great time.


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:14 AM ^

I live in the Milwaukee area , alot of good reccomendations on here for sure by people

Parking is scarce around the stadium, so if your taligaiting, get their early, If your in downtown Madison than you should be ok

and i highly highly reccomend the Greenbush Bar inside the Italian Workman's Club in Madison


and i said just now Michigan Hockey in town that weekend at the Kohl Center







August 22nd, 2017 at 11:21 AM ^

I went back in 01 or 02, whenever we won on a muffed punt at the end of the game.  

Great people, heavy drinkers, and a lot of fun.

Lets set up a tailgate.



1989 UM GRAD

August 22nd, 2017 at 11:26 AM ^

We can't make it to Madison for the game. Have a wedding in Madison in September and already planning on going to Bloomington for the IU game. 2023 -- GRAD is on the college tour circuit so we are excited to see Madison but disappointed we can't get to the game.


August 22nd, 2017 at 11:29 AM ^

In case you have some time to kill.

Pretty cool little place.  Exhibits on civil war to Iran-Iraq with some highlights of Wisconsinites' contributions.  Free.  It's on or near the Capitol square.