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Bakke Recreation and Wellbeing Center opens in Madison, WI

The University’s newest recreational facility comes equipped with a myriad of health, wellness, and fitness resources that are available to students and community members alike.

608 bakke

Bakke offers far more than just sporting facilities.

Photo by 608today

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The $113.2 million Bakke Recreation and Wellbeing Center is officially open. The building is one of four projects included in UW-Madison’s Master Plan to re-up the campus’ recreational facilities. The plan — which was put into motion in 2014 — also includes the Near West Fields, the Nicholas Recreation Center, and the Near East Fields.

Located at 1976 Observatory Dr., the new facility is built where the UW Natatorium once stood. While the Bakke Center does not have a competition pool and diving well, it does have a 25-yard recreational pool, nearly triple the fitness space, and air conditioning.


In addition to 29,000 sqft of fitness space, the recreation center offers:

  • Massage therapy
  • Personal trainer exam prep course
  • NASPA-certified wellness coaching
  • Ice arena
  • Climbing/bouldering wall
  • Sports simulators
  • Self-defense classes
  • Teaching kitchen


This UW facility is not just for students. Community members and campus affiliates are welcome to get in on the action as well.

Students | Included in tuition

Campus affiliates | UW-Madison faculty, staff, retirees, and emeriti

  • Day pass: $15
  • Week pass: $30
  • Monthly, recurring: $45/month

UW-Madison alumni | UW-Madison graduates with proof of graduation

  • Day pass: $15
  • Week pass: $30
  • Monthly, recurring: $45/month

Household youth | Dependents (younger than 18 years old) of Rec Well members or current UW students

  • Semester pass: $40
  • Weekend pass: $10

Community | Adults in the greater Madison community with no affiliation to campus

  • Day pass: $15
  • Week pass: $40
  • Monthly, recurring: $60/month