Badger Bash gets thousands of fans excited for season opener - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Badger Bash gets thousands of fans excited for season opener

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MADISON (WKOW)-- It has been 280 days since the last Badger Football home game. On Saturday morning, thousands of fans couldn't wait any longer as they rushed into Student Union South for Badger Bash.

Several sponsors, including WKOW, set up games and activities as well as live music to pump up the fans before heading into the game.

The UW Marching Band performed a preview of their half time show "A Tribute to Ray Charles." They also played several of the classic songs that Badger fans have enjoyed over the years.

"Just the traditions we have. It's really fun to be part of that. Be in the stadium and be able to watch and kind of just take it all in," Badger fan Brian Donliebhauser says.

Badger fans say the day was all about new beginnings. It's the start of a new season, the first game with a brand new coach, and for many fans it's the chance to see several new players for the first time.

"Everybody is just in the spirit and it's like, you feel everybody's excitement and they're supporting the team," UW-Madison Freshman Marlena Bochenek says.

Veterans were also saluted at Saturday's game with free tickets from the UW-Madison athletic department. There was a special hospitality tent set up before kickoff. Organizers say this event helps bring attention to Camp Randall's military roots.

"This used to be a training center during the Civil War so they like to pay homage to all the veterans that kind of built the structure that we're in today," Deputy Secretary of the WI Dept. of Veterans Affairs Michael Trepanier says.

Almost 500 tickets were given out for the event. Organizers say everyone seemed very happy to be there.

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