By TOM LEA
Wisconsin’s co-defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge admitted he is in the midst of stepping up his Twitter game. So, in an effort to elevate his followers, Partridge has been sharing snapshots of the Badgers new, yet uncompleted weight room, on his timeline (@CoachPartridge).
It’s fair to say the Camp Randall Stadium fans have come to know over the past eight years — or since the most recent renovation was completed — will be a bit different when the red and white clad faithful pack the facility in September.
“Underneath the McClain facility they’ve actually demolished the whole space,” Partridge, speaking of the area where the locker room and weight room used to be located, said. “It’s just kind of an empty pallet right now where the new locker room and new training room will be. The players just got back last week and they’re using a third of what’s going to be the new weight room.
“That third of it is bigger than what we had.”
The most recent renovation, a $76.8 million project, is focused on creating an ‘Athletic Village’ that will help modernize an aging stadium and turn it into more of an attractive facility for both current student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.
Head coach Bret Bielema said he felt his program had fallen behind several other Big Ten institution in regards to size and newness of various facilities. Now that this project is underway, and set to totally update both the underbelly of the stadium and the visible interior of the stadium bowl, it seems it should help.
“When you’re dealing with a 16,17 or 18-year-old kid who can be dazzled by a little bit of flash and a little bit of bling or a little bit else of what’s out there instead of the substance of what makes you good,” Bielema said. “This is hopefully going to put us (up there). We have the smallest weight room in the Big Ten and we have the smallest locker room.
“When this is completed we’re not going to jump into No. 1. I’m not always a believer that bigger is always better. I just think we’ll jump into the middle of the pack and show kids that we’re very feasible with what we’re doing.”
A new turf has already been installed inside the Camp Randall facility. It is the same green field turf fans had become accustomed to, but it features the Big Ten logo and end zones that says Wisconsin.
The façade that has housed retired names and numbers for years will be moved to the opposite side of the field (luxury box side) in favor of new digital boards similar to those that can be found inside Kohl Center.
“Those are starting to get prepped to get installed,” Partridge said. “There’s a lot going on. There are workers everywhere. It’s fun.”
There will be four levels of wording on the luxury box side of the stadium. One line will showcase the Big Ten championship years, the next will feature the Rose Bowl years, the third will house the retired names and numbers and the fourth will remain open for those digital boards.
“Just like the Kohl Center,” Bielema said. “It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Return to: Wisconsin Badgers Blog