Badgers prepare for packed home crowd in season opener


MADISON (WFRV) – Jump Around.

For the first time since the 2019 season, Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin will see a packed house for a football game, opening its doors to the red faithful as the Badgers begin the 2021 season.

But the allure of football itself takes a backseat to the matchup on deck – No. 19 Penn State visits the 12th-ranked Badgers in the first Wisconsin Big Ten home opener against a ranked team since 1981.

“The first game is always electric, then you add on top of that that it’s a Big Ten opponent, then it’s a top 20 Big Ten opponent, then people haven’t been in here for almost two years,” said Brian Lucas, Wisconsin’s director of football brand communications. “I think we all expect it to be really raucous in here right from the opening kickoff.”

Saturday’s game will see an early kick – 11 a.m. – but that won’t deter the national audience in one of college football’s prime broadcast spots. In addition to the fanfare surrounding the top 20 matchup, Wisconsin will load up the pregame festivities with the Badger Band and other spectacles during the national anthem.

“A big part of the fan experience is really how you get into the stadium,” Lucas said. “To maximize that experience, we encourage people to arrive early.

“The Badger Band is back for the first time in nearly two years, and then we’ve got some special things around the national anthem planned – a parachute team jumping in and then some pyro with the national anthem as well, so lots of reasons to get in your seats early.”

Camp Randall’s gates open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with Wisconsin officials expecting wait times to be a minute or less between 9:30 and 10:15.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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