By: Aleesa Kuznetsov and Stella Porter

Hotels and restaurants may look empty now, but in just a couple of days, thousands of alumni, students and proud Badger fans will flood Madison businesses. Why? It’s homecoming weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

According to a Wisconsin Alumni Association spokesperson, 100,000 people are coming to town this weekend. Restaurants and bars such as the Nitty Gritty are expected to reach capacity.

“So there’s definitley an uptake of business on homecoming weekend. Friday all day on Saturday with the football game,” says Michael Leto, General Manager of the Nitty Gritty. “People that can’t get tickets that just want a place to go and watch the game. We’re definitely pretty full from the time we open to the time we close.”

“The capacity is just over 400 people, so that’s what we have to stick to. So unfortunately we will have to turn some people away or unfortunately people will have to wait in line,” he continued.

Not only are lines out the door of local bars and restaurants, but hotels around the Madison area are almost completely booked.

According to Kyla Cywinski, Marketing Coordinator of the Graduate Madison, people began booking rooms as early as a year ago.

“Usually big games we’re totally booked up, but especially for homecoming, we’re definitely fully booked,” she says.

“We’ve hired security for this weekend, because we know that it’s going to be a high demand. We’ve definitely made a lot of drink specials, we’ve prepared extra food.. so everything is basically…we know it’s going to be higher because of the demand that’s coming through.”

When comparing rates on hotel websites, prices are 5 times higher for homecoming weekend.

For the Badger Report, I’m Aleesa Kuznetsov.


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