608today City Guide Play

Your guide to sports in Madison

From the Wisconsin Badgers to the Madison Radicals, we’re sharing details on some of Madison’s most beloved sports teams.

Wisconsin Badgers football team.jpeg

Wisconsin is one of 26 college football programs to win 700 or more games. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

University of Wisconsin Athletics Madison Mallards Forward Madison FC Madison Radicals Madison Capitols Wisconsin Wombats

Whether you’re a sports fanatic — or just look good in Badger Red and White — when it comes to sports, Madison has no shortage of teams to support. Our city is home to some of the most loyal fans in the country — they even set world records.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Madison sports, so whether you’re already a devoted Madison sports fan or you’re new to the area, we hope it can serve as a valuable resource.

Wisconsin Badgers basketball playing at the Kohl Center.jpeg

The Wisconsin men’s basketball team participated in the NCAA tournament for 19 consecutive seasons (1999-2017). | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

University of Wisconsin Athletics | Est. 1870

The UW-Madison athletic department has a storied history. They’ve been primarily competing in the Big Ten Conference for all sports since the 1896-97 season. The women’s hockey team (ahem, national champions) competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while the men’s crew team (ahem, national champions) compete in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges. They have 23 varsity teams, including football (ahem, national champions), basketball (ahem, national champions), men’s hockey (ahem, national champions), women’s volleyball (ahem, national champions), and men’s and women’s cross country (ahem, national champions for both), among other teams.

Where they play: Camp Randall Stadium, Kohl Center, UW Field House, among other facilities.

  • Camp Randall is the oldest stadium in the Big Ten Conference (built in 1917)
  • It is the 41st largest stadium in the world, with a current seating capacity of 80,321
  • It is a place to “Jump Around

Mascot: Buckingham “Bucky” U. Badger

  • First seen in 1940
  • Mascot Hall of Fame inductee in 2006

Team colors: Badger Red and white

Major accomplishments:

  • Wisconsin is one of 26 college football programs to win 700 or more games
  • Wisconsin has had two Heisman Trophy winners (Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne), and has had 12 former players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Men’s basketball has made it to the Final Four four times in its history, winning the National Championship in 1941
  • The men’s basketball team participated in the NCAA tournament for 19 consecutive seasons (1999-2017)
  • Men’s hockey have been national champions six times over
  • Bob Suter, who played for the Badgers, was a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 US Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal
  • No college has won more women’s hockey national titles than the Wisconsin Badgers
  • The women’s volleyball team has had 27 All-Americans

See the teams’ schedules.

Madison Mallards pitcher at Warner Park

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball wooden bat league team in the Northwoods League. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Madison Mallards | Est. 2001

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball wooden bat league team in the Northwoods League. They also bring more fans to their stadium than any other collegiate summer baseball team in the country. It doesn’t hurt that they serve beer-filled boots.

Where they play: Warner Park

Mascot: Maynard G. Mallard

  • He had a blast on his 21st birthday
  • Maynard will make an appearance at events at local nonprofits at no charge

Team colors: Blue, yellow, green, and tan

Major accomplishments:

  • The Mallards have won the Northwoods League championship in 2004 and 2013
  • Several players have made it to the big leagues

See the team’s schedule.

Christian Enriquez vs. Greenville Triumph in 2021

Christian Enriquez vs. Greenville Triumph in 2021. | Photo via Forward Madison FC

Forward Madison FC* | Est. 2018

The soccer team played their inaugural season in 2019 and competes in USL League One, a Division III league operated by United Soccer League. It’s one of 12 teams that plays 32 regular season games, followed by the playoffs (that the team made just last season).

Where they play: Breese Stevens Field

Mascot: Lionela Bessi

  • She’s a cow
  • When she had a calf, the club adopted her as a mascot, as well. Her name is Rose Cowbelle

Team colors: Pink and blue

Major accomplishments:

  • Fans are called Mingos, after flamingos, after plastic flamingo lawn ornaments, the official bird of Madison
  • Their inaugural season had the highest average home attendance of any time in USL League One

*Professional women’s soccer is coming to Madison in 2025. Forward Madison FC owners will be adding a team in expansion of the USL Super League.

See the team’s schedule.

Madison Radicals match at Breese Stevens Field.jpeg

The Madison Radicals are part of the Central Division of the American Ultimate Disc League. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Madison Radicals | Est. 2013

Nerd alert - Madisonians like ultimate frisbee. We like it so much we have a semi-professional team. Part of the Central Division of the American Ultimate Disc League, the team has won five regular season division titles since its inception in 2013, winning the championship in 2018.

Where they play: Breese Stevens Field

  • Capacity: 5,000
  • The historic field has held special exhibition games with MLB teams such as the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Browns
  • Negro League teams also played there, including the Havana La Palomas

Mascot: TBD

Team colors: Blue and green

Major accomplishments:

  • Became the first AUDL team to surpass 100 wins in 2022
  • Had a 27-straight regular season home game winning streak (2013-2017)

See the team’s schedule.

Madison Capitols game at Bruce Suter Ice Arena

The Madison Capitols are a junior ice hockey team that plays in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League. | Photo via Madison Capitols

Madison Capitols | Est. 1984

Wisconsinites like hockey.* The Madison Capitols are a junior ice hockey team that plays in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League.

Where they play: Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena

  • Capacity: 2,611
  • It was built in 1999 under the leadership of US Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Suter
  • There’s an “Eagle’s Nest” where one can purchase a ticket for all you can eat while you watch the game

Mascot: D.C. Eagle

Team Colors: Blue, gray, red, and white

Major accomplishments:

  • The Madison Capitols began as a team in 1984, coached by Bob Suter
  • From 1991-1995 they were rebranded as the Wisconsin Capitols
  • Since 2014 they’ve been called the Madison Capitols
  • In the 2021-22 season they made it to the championship game, losing to the Sioux City Musketeers

See the team’s schedule.

* There are other hockey teams in the area, including a new semi-professional team in Sun Prairie, the Killer Bees.

Wisconsin Wombats team before play.jpeg

Madison has its own Australian Rules Football team. | Photo via Wisconsin Wombats

Wisconsin Wombats | Est. 2017

Madison has its own Australian Rules Football team. What IS Australian Rules Football? Good question.

Where they play: Reindahl Park and other locations

Mascot: Did you know that wombats poop cubes?

Team Colors: Red and black

Major accomplishments:

  • The USAFL was organized in 1997 and is based in Sun Prairie
  • There are 48 member clubs nationally
  • Milwaukee also has a team called the Bombers

See the team’s schedule.

This list doesn’t encompass all the teams in Mad City. Madison College (Go, WolfPack) has an athletics department, as does Edgewood College (Go, Eagles).

Also, there’s professional volleyball coming into existence. Madison also has Gaelic football and, yes, log rolling.

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