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This Must Be The Place: McClimon Track/Soccer Complex

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Sand In The Vaseline

Wisconsin Badgers home games draw over half a million in attendance each year. But, are those places any good? Let me tell you what to think about the places Badger fans call “home.” Today you may ask yourself, am I right, or am I wrong? Today you may ask yourself, my God, what have I done?

You May Find Yourself Living In A Shotgun Shack

Location McClimon Track/Soccer Complex
Location McClimon Track/Soccer Complex
Date Opened 1959
Address 702 Walnut Street
Sports Track & Field, Soccer
Named For Coach Dan McClimon
Capacity 1611
Best Bar Nearby Blue Moon

Getting In

Like Goodman, McClimon is over on the west side of campus by UW Health. Unlike Goodman, if you don’t know that the entrance is the northwest corner you will absolutely guess wrong. When you can find the entrance, it’s $5, and to be on the safe side have exact change.

Concessions

All food served at McClimon means you’ve already made a bunch of concessions. Bottles of whatever soda the athletic department has a deal with, boxed candy, brats and burgers (maybe?) and hot chocolate when seasonally appropriate. Nothing strikes your fancy. Nothing turns you on.

Seriously, get a Blue Moon burger beforehand if you’re hungry, or they do a solid fish on Fridays, plus an above-average tap list. Or, maybe you think restaurants and bars are for later in the evening.

Seating

When you combine the dimensions of a soccer field with the old-man-handwave levels of effort put into McClimon, you actually get a variety of options. The main sideline has bleachers surrounding the aforementioned food hovel above a steep hill leading down to the field of play. There’s a small student cheering section behind each goal, and the other sideline has just enough of a hill to see over the side wall.

Traditions

Getting free scarves? Oh, I got a Rose Lavelle shirsey and poster once. I forgot that Under Armour sizes up hilariously, and the incredibly cheap fabric did not help the “fit like a poncho” aspect. It did immediately replace my Tony Plush shirsey as “the best workout shirt in my gym bag.”

Atmosphere

Outdoors, with some painfully cold gusts coming off the lake.

Oh, like people-wise?

They’re there, hanging out, having a time. The Badger faithful get drowned out by the smaller, insaner away fans who make more of an effort to make it to this game than “hey, it’s the one with a free scarf giveaway!” But they are just people, and I’m not afraid. After goals, “On, Wisconsin” is piped through the speaker setup. Or maybe “Hot Time.” Who could know, who could care.

Overall

“When assessing adequate facilities, this soccer venue ranks last in the Big Ten. Providing upgraded facilities is a priority for the program. Most of the shortfall is in the support facilities, spectator seats, and locker rooms.” - UW Athletics 2017 Master Plan.

In other words, officially the actual track and field of the complex are up to snuff, but everything else is awful and should be replaced. It’s not love. It’s not love, which is my face. Which is a building. Which is on fire.

It’s our Ryan Field.

Final Review

Just utter nonsense. Forgettable. Really would love to see what Brian Eno could have done with it, because it’s way too loose and one-note as it is.