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This Must Be The Place: Goodman Softball Complex

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Yes, I’m startin’ over. Startin’ over in another place.

Wisconsin Badgers home games draw over half a million in attendance each year. But, are those places any good? I’ve been checking them out. I’ve been checking them out. I got it figured out. Let me tell you what to think about the places Badger fans call “home.” Next: Goodman Softball Complex.

Girls Want Things That Make Common Sense

Location Goodman Softball Complex
Location Goodman Softball Complex
Date Opened 1999
Address 2415 University Bay Dr
Sports Softball
Named For Robert and Irwin Goodman
Capacity 1600
Best Bar Nearby Blue Moon

Getting In

The biggest hurdle in going to Goodman is finding the place. It’s tucked away on the west side of campus behind the UW Hospital’s parking lots. It’s actually best spotted from Lakeshore Path, wild as that may sound.

Concessions

One grill behind home plate. I have had lunch here once when the Big 10 Tournament (of softball) was in Madison. I got a hot dog and saw the Badgers beat Purdue. It’s not a destination meal, but hey if you want to see what the baseline should be for concessions absolutely make a stop here.

Seating

Extremely general admissions in the bleachers.

Traditions

The worst sporting event I’ve ever been to was May 2nd, 2019, Rockies @ Brewers. It was a Thursday 1:10 getaway day. I remember driving down 94 as the rain turned from “annoyance” to “ahh shit.” We got to the parking lot before it officially opened, and tried to hold a traditional Brewer tailgate in April’s last hurrah - low 40 degrees and a steady downpour. My uncle and I went into Miller Park early and got coffee to warm up. By the bottom of the 2nd Rockies were up 7-0. I’ve sat through blowouts, and bad weather, but this one was top 3 worst experiences in both departments. I just moved from one kind of suck to another. The times were hard for people like us.

Anyway the main tradition at Goodman is no home games until conference play starts because Wisconsin spring doesn’t allow for planning to be outside more than six days in the future.

Atmosphere

Late March to early May still isn’t reliably excellent weather in Madison, but at the first sunny 63 degree day, you want to be outside. Goodman helps fill that niche. Weekend games are at 1, spend some time looking at the cool water of Lake Mendota while the half-innings change, then take the Lakeshore Trail down to the Terrace. The “Get to Goodman” game draws just under 2,000 fans, while the midweek doubleheaders get about a tenth of that.

In a word, it’s pleasant...when it can be.

Overall

Wisconsin softball has certainly improved under Yvette Healy. She’s improved Wisconsin’s overall and conference record win percentage, won a Big 10 Tournament, skippered several squads to the final game of an NCAA Regional, and defeated top-seeded Oklahoma in Norman. But in order to make softball a draw, she’s got to move the world, got to move the world, got to move the world.

Final Review

Out of the way, has a narrow audience, but a fine addition to the overall catalog. It serves exactly one reason, and does it well.