Last winter, Wisconsin Badgers fans around the state were looking forward to a premier non-conference contest between the Badgers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. That game was scheduled to be played at Lambeau Field in early October.
Then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic affected all aspects of society, including sports. And although college football’s various conferences all ended up playing a 2020 season, that excellent matchup was one that was left on the chopping block due to the Big Ten’s decision to play a conference-only schedule.
The Packers formally announced on Monday that Lambeau Field will host the two college programs on September 5, 2026 in what should be the opening game for both teams that season. That will come ten years and two days after the Badgers’ first and most recent game at Lambeau, when they defeated LSU on opening weekend in 2016.
The two teams are still scheduled to play in 2021, with that game on the calendar for September 25th. This year’s contest will take place at Soldier Field, the home of the Packers’ oldest rivals, the Chicago Bears. However, the loss of the 2020 game is not entirely for naught, with the two teams finally meet for the second part of the pseudo-home-and-home series. That will just have to take place several years later than initially planned.
While the Badgers have played just once at Lambeau Field, the Packers have a substantial history of playing preseason games at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. The Packers played 12 exhibition games there, one almost every year from 1986 through 1999. Green Bay defeated the New York Jets 38-14 in the first game at Camp Randall, while the final contest saw Matt Hasselbeck throw three touchdowns passes as the Packers beat the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos 27-12.