Businesses feeling loss of last week’s Badgers home game

Businesses feeling loss of last week’s Badgers home game

Even though the Wisconsin Badgers football team beat the LSU Tigers 16-14 last Saturday at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, businesses around Camp Randall are feeling a loss.

That’s because the Lambeau game replaced one of the team’s home games, meaning this year, the Badgers will have only six home games in Madison instead of the usual seven.

The Badgers kicked off their home opener Saturday at Camp Randall.

Benjamin Wilke, bar manager at Jordan’s Big 10 Pub, says Regent Street businesses make a great deal of money before, during and after each home game.

“We always count on those seven games a year,” Wilke said. “With the opponent being LSU and how (high) quality they are, I feel like they would have traveled here as well, so we’re talking about a lot of money probably lost.”

Cindy Lussier, who is continuing on her family’s tradition of selling Badgers apparel and collectibles on Regent Street, says her business, Polenske Novelties, suffered with the loss of a home game this year.

“You can’t make it up,” Lussier said. “It’s one-seventh of our revenue, so it hurts a lot.”

Wilke said he would have liked to see a reciprocal arrangement, where the Packers would have played a preseason game at Camp Randall, to make up for the missed game.

“From a fan’s standpoint, it’s exciting to have a game at Lambeau Field. From a business standpoint, it’s not the greatest for us,” Wilke said. “It would have been nice, if, in return, maybe we could have gotten a preseason Packer game at Camp Randall. Something like that to kind of make up for it.”

Despite the loss of business, both Wilke and Lussier said they’re excited for the season.

“We still have six great games ahead of us, so it should be OK,” Wilke said.

“I love watching the people. I love watching how excited people are,” Lussier said.