One of the worst stampedes in U.S. history took place on October 30, 1993 at the University of Wisconsin. Fans rushed the field following a 13-10 upset victory over the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium. There were no fatalities but the final injury count was 73, with 6 listed as critical.
This video highlights the waning moments of the game, the crowd surge and accompanying celebration. This particular human stampede had the necessary force to tear steel railings directly from a concrete foundation.
It’s interesting to note that the force of less than 10 people pushing in the same direction can generate up to 1000 lbs. of force – enough to bend steel and topple brick walls. When most think of human stampedes, they envision people being trampled to death. However, the vast majority of individuals die while remaining upright through a process called crush asphyxiation. It’s the equivalent of suffocation or drowning in air.
Chief of Police/Vice President Susan Riseling addressed my concerns in a letter dated May 7, 2012.
She referenced several policies and procedures for enhanced stadium security, but failed to address the most perilous, lingering concern: the prospect of an artificially generated stampede. Still, it’s difficult to assess blame or responsibility when no other NCAA Division I schools have acknowledged the issue. And of course, the federal government has failed to offer any viable input or solutions. They’ve also neglected to offer any guidance moving forward.
The capacity of Camp Randall Stadium is 80,000+. When full, it becomes the fifth largest “city” in the state of Wisconsin.
If you have concerns regarding fan safety at Camp Randall Stadium, I would suggest contacting these individuals: