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“Jump Around” has a storied history at UW football games — it’s currently celebrating its 25th season. However, the attendees of a 1915 football game should be thankful that the tradition didn’t exist in their era. At the November 20 Homecoming game against Minnesota, a loud cracking sound signaled the fall of three sections of wooden bleachers, which sent 1,800 Badger fans to the ground. An investigation into the collapse attributed the bleachers’ instability to the ground being heavily saturated by rain. Although no deaths or serious injuries were reported, a photo of the incident shows the chaos at the scene immediately after. The safety of the stands was in question prior to this disaster. Capacity was 3,000, and games were reported to have 15,000 fans in attendance. Plans to build a new stadium were already in place — Athletic Director George Ehler even wrote about the need for a new stadium in a January 1915 issue of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine — but weather and a lack of materials delayed the project. Although it wasn’t the ideal way to kick off a project, the frightening incident did push campus to accelerate its plans, and the physical framework for today’s Camp Randall Stadium was erected in 1917. Wooden bleachers were fully removed from the stadium in 1923, but renovations to Camp Randall haven’t stopped in the years since. The newest addition, which boasts a section of premium seating and connects the stadium to the Field House, opened in 2022. Rest assured, jumping around in Camp Randall is now safe and sound.

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