Development proposal could close Stadium Bar - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Development proposal could close Stadium Bar

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MADISON (WKOW) -- For a lot of Badgers fans, game day tailgating may never be the same thanks to new proposal that could shut down a popular bar. While the location of Stadium Bar, right across from Camp Randall, fills the place up with thousands on game day, it also makes it prime real estate for students who want to live close to all the action.

Customer Daniel Davenport thinks Stadium Bar is more than just a bar. "It's a piece of history, it's been here for a long time," he says. But that could all change.

Madison City Alder Scott Resnick says the new proposal from Opus Group includes a six story building. Five stories would be dedicated to student housing and one would be used for commercial development. The development company has already purchased rights to the land and the new project falls within the zoning code, according to Resnick. "I'd encourage, if the project does move through the city committees, which it does look somewhat likely, to have one last drink at Stadium Bar," he says.

Stadium Bar brings in thousands of people every home game. Until a final decision is made on the proposal, it's business as usual for general manager Tom Harberg who believes there's a long process ahead. "Nothing's changed. Our doors are still open, we're still making sure the customers coming in here have the Stadium experience," he says.

Resnick says the developers have proposed implementing the plan this summer. But even if the plan goes through, the bar may not be closed for good. One of Stadium Bar's owners, Dan McCarty says using some of the commercial space available in the plan is still an option.

A spokesman for Opus Group, the development company involved, sent WKOW this statement: "Opus is in the very early stages of exploring a development at the current site of the Stadium Bar. We look forward to working together with the community and elected leaders, as this process moves forward."

Resnick says there will be a public meeting held on Thursday, December 6 at Union South to give neighbors and surrounding districts information about the proposal.

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