UW football back, bringing in confidence and cases?
By Parker Olsen
In mid-September, the Big Ten football conference announced that there will be a fall football season. The unanimous decision was supported by the hope that universities will be able to keep their teams safe with increased health precautions.
With the University of Wisconsin being a part of the Big Ten the Badgers will host four games in Madison this season. With COVID-19 continuing to spread rapidly on campus, many fear that the team will cause more infections on campus, as well as spread to opponents campuses. This will be the first time major sports will play in Madison since the pandemic began. Forward Madison FC was forced to move their games to Wauwatosa in order to comply with county restrictions on contact sports that were in effect at kickoff of their season.
Many hold concern about sports coming back while positive COVID-19 tests are hitting record levels throughout the state, likely connected to schools and colleges that are holding in-person classes.
Despite the concerns, the university is confident that it will be able to prevent major spread of COVID-19 through the football team. However, public health officials fear that football will cause tailgate parties, they would be large and unsafe gatherings that could allow the virus to “spread like wildfire.” Although on-campus tailgates will not be allowed, off campus parties will be hot spots for the virus to spread. Regardless of restrictions, there is sure to be a surge of restaurant goers on game day.
Some Lancers, who are working despite the pandemic, worry that game day will bring in large groups to restaurants. Renee Stram (12), says she worries that COVID-19 could be spread to her and her co-workers. When asked about people coming in on game day she says “it will definitely be more stressful since where I work just opened for dine in and there are plenty of people that try to come in without masks.”
Whether we are ready or not, football is coming to Madison on October 23rd.