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Did Madison’s game day precautions work?

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Badgers' home opener Friday was a test for students and fans. The goal: Cheer on the team, without big parties during the pandemic.

Health officials were making rounds on Regent Street, checking in on bars to make sure there weren't huge crowds inside or out.

"Luckily, we were able to avoid any sort of lines, any sort of gatherings," said Lucas Simon-Wambach, general manager of Sconnie Bar. "They were fairly quick visits (from health officials)... We had worked with them leading up to the game. Just checking and making sure we were following through on our end."

Simon-Wambach says that was the case for bars up and down Regent Street during the game, and the health officials were a big help to make sure things didn't get out of hand.

"It was nice knowing that they had our backs on things," he said. "And they were grateful as well that we were able to follow through on all the things we agreed upon."

But what about crowds away from bars?

University officials had asked people to report large parties or gatherings during Friday's game.

A university spokesperson said they got only 10 complaints, which they consider a success.

"We received 10 reports of public health violations which are currently being investigated by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. We thank students for doing a great job staying safe while supporting the Badgers. Keeping game day celebrations limited to roommates and housemates is key to making it all the way through the football season."

Meredith McGlone, UW-Madison Spokesperson

UW says the punishment for any students who are found to have committed public health violations will depend on a number of factors specific to each situation.

At Sconnie Bar, business won't be quite what it normally is this season, but they're encouraged after a successful week one.

"I think it's something that we're going to be able to build upon," Simon-Wambach said.

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