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‘Jump Around’ tradition returns to student section

September 10, 2003

Upper deck fans asked to cheer only

Fans in Camp Randall Stadium’s student section will once again be jumping around during the break between the third and fourth quarters at Wisconsin football games, says Chancellor John D. Wiley.

“The institution reconfirmed previously issued structural safety studies for Camp Randall Stadium this week and, as a result, will resume the tradition of playing the song ‘Jump Around’ prior to the start of the fourth quarter,” says Wiley. “Camp Randall Stadium has long been known for its terrific atmosphere and the phenomenon of the ‘Jump Around’ song in the last five to six years has been important to that reputation.”

Wiley adds that although some patrons have felt uneasy about the swaying of the upper deck at Camp Randall when thousands of fans jump during the song, engineers and architects consulted about the deck’s structural soundness remain confident in earlier assessments that the facility can handle the strain created when the crowd responds to the song.

“The amplitude of the motion in the upper deck, while enough to be physically noticeable, is actually very, very small, and far below any risk to the structural integrity of the deck,” Wiley says.

Wiley says that, although the stadium had been deemed safe prior to this week’s assessments, it was prudent to reaffirm those findings in the midst of the ongoing renovation.

The uneasiness that is created during “Jump Around” for some upper-deck fans is certainly real, Wiley says. “For some fans, the uneasiness they feel translates into a feeling of being in a situation that is unsafe,” he says. “Because of the many concerns raised, I’m asking upper-deck fans to refrain from jumping out of consideration for their neighbors and to take the opportunity, instead, to cheer on the student section.”

“Over the years, the Athletic Department has received concern about the swaying of the upper deck at Camp Randall,” says Wiley. “Pat (Richter), as the Director of Athletics, takes those critiques very seriously. As such, his decision to temporarily suspend the playing of ‘Jump Around’ had merit in light of the facility’s construction phase. It was reasonable and prudent to be concerned about the effects of the jumping on new construction and changes that have taken place under the student sections. Pat made a last-minute judgment call not to play the song, which I will not second guess,” Wiley says.

The university sought additional confirmation this week that the facility is truly stable while taking into account that the whole stadium site is undergoing a significant renovation. Wiley says UW–Madison received that confirmation.

“With the information we’ve reviewed this week, Pat and I decided it was important to our fans to restore what has become a tradition associated with Badger football,” says Wiley. “The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has always listed fan safety and enjoyment as top priorities. We remain thoroughly committed to both goals and know that UW football fans will continue to build upon their national reputation beginning Saturday against UNLV.”

Wiley says that the department’s cautionary approach to game day at Camp Randall during this complex renovation is a good idea. “Camp Randall is going through significant changes on a weekly basis during this complicated renovation, and taking a cautious approach in serving a capacity crowd in this type of environment is the right tactic,” he says.

Richter, who was an All-American on the Wisconsin gridiron during his collegiate days, appreciates the traditions of UW football. “We certainly have great traditions tied to our programs and ‘Jump Around’ has become one of them,” he says. “During our several seasons of construction, we need to emphasize patience and caution. With the updated analysis of the facility’s structural strength, we can confidently let our fans know that the upper-deck movement is not a safety concern and that ‘Jump Around’ is once again a part of our game-day programming.”