MADISON, Wis. - While the University of Wisconsin football team will play six games this season at Camp Randall Stadium the 7 p.m. kickoff against second-ranked Ohio State brings with it both energy and a challenge.
The game between the Badgers and Buckeyes will be nationally televised and ESPN Gameday will broadcast live from Bascom Hill on Saturday morning. As crews worked on Friday to setup for the broadcast that will focus their cameras on Madison, students and visitors focused their smartphone cameras on the Gameday set.
"I can't wait to see Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit up there predicting. "They're not going to pick the Badgers, which is a mistake. They'll be wrong again," David Land, a UW alumnus, said.
While Badger fans have had the date of the Ohio State game circled on their calendars for some time, so has law enforcement.
"There's a big red circle around the date on our calendars, too," Marc Lovicott, spokesperson for the UW-Madison Police Department, said.
While UWPD is very experienced with providing security for large events, they will be coordinating with other law enforcement agencies from around the state for this weekend's events.
"We will be coordinating for that and dealing with the fact we have a night game and we have more time for individuals to pre-party, if you will, and that tends to lead to a little more challenging atmosphere for us. Our enforcement is purely behavioral based," Lovicott said.
In addition to large crowds visiting Madison this weekend for the game the weather may provide an additional complication. There's a chance of rain and a possible thunderstorm during the game. In preparation, UWPD is reviewing their evacuation procedure for Camp Randall if lightning is detected in the area of the stadium. They also are reminding fans attending the game that umbrellas are not permitted inside the stadium.