Whether you are heading down to Soldier Field or watching from the comfort of your couch or favorite tavern on Saturday, the Wisconsin State Journal has Badgers fans covered with a complete breakdown of everything they need to know as the 18th-ranked University of Wisconsin football team battles the 12th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Chicago.
Watching from home
Saturday's game is being broadcast Fox, with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m. Central. Fans in the Madison area can also listen along on 101.5 FM or 1310 AM with Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas on the call. ESPN's "College GameDay" crew will be setup just north of Soldier Field, between the stadium and the Field Museum. The show will air from 8-11 a.m. on ESPN, with the broadcast moving inside the stadium for the final hour. Fox will also air its "Big Noon Kickoff" show beginning at 9 a.m., with the crew out on the Great Lawn on the east side of the stadium.
Heading to Soldier Field
Despite Saturday's matchup taking place on neutral Illinois turf, the fact that these two college football powerhouses haven't squared off in 57 years has driven interest in the game "through the roof."
For fans who have (or are still looking to) acquire a coveted ticket to the game at Soldier Field, here are a few things to be prepared for:
Tickets: Fans in search of tickets at this late stage can expect to pay a hefty premium. As of Friday at 4 p.m., the ticket reselling website StubHub had seats available from $121 to $662 before fees. On Ticketmaster, tickets ranged from $117 to $442 before the additional fees.
Weather: It will be a gorgeous day for football in the Windy City, with the National Weather service calling for sunshine with a high of 71 degrees and, appropriately enough, a west wind around 15 mph with gusts reaching up to 30 mph.
Bag policy: Fans who have attended games at Camp Randall Stadium in the past few years should be familiar with the requirements at Soldier Field. Each fan is allowed to bring in one bag, including clear bags not exceeding 12-by-6-by-12 inches; one gallon, re-sealable clear freezer bags; clutch purses no bigger than 4 1/2-by-6 1/2 inches; and medical bags.
Parking: There are numerous options for Badgers fans driving to Chicago for the game. Parking at the stadium in on-site lots, which close at 5 p.m., is limited on gameday, with fans arriving after 8 a.m. likely to park in an off-site lot. For certain off-site lots, fans can purchase parking passes ranging from $16 to $75 in advance at Parking.com. For those looking to tailgate before the game, it's allowed in the open-air lots — including the south lot, north parking garage and Adler Planetarium lot — along with the top level of the Waldron Deck garage. There are also several public transit options to the stadium, including the bus, the "L" train and the Metra rail. For more details on public transit options, the Chicago Tribune shares a detailed breakdown in its preview of the game.
COVID protocols: In accordance with the City of Chicago's mandates, face masks are required for fans in all indoor areas of the stadium — including the clubs, hallways and elevators — except while actively eating or drinking. Face coverings are optional in outdoor areas of the stadium, however they are recommended for unvaccinated spectators in crowded outdoor areas.
Gameday entertainment: In addition to the Fox and ESPN crews, there will be plenty of action, inside and outside of Soldier Field. For UW alumni, there will be a free pre-game pep rally starting at 9:15 a.m. on the North Lawn, featuring the UW Marching Band and Spirit Squad. UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh and Chancellor Rebecca Blank are scheduled to speak at the pep rally at 9:30 a.m. During the game, both schools are planning to bring their traditions from home on the road with them, including the Camp Randall staple "Jump Around."
Catch up on our coverage
From a look at how Badgers QB Graham Mertz blocked out the noise before facing former teammate Jack Coan and the Fighting Irish to how UW's matchup with Notre Dame took shape to who's available to play in the top-25 showdown — and everything in between — we have something for every Badgers fan: