105 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wis. 53715
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the LaBahn Arena took place on Wednesday,
May 11, 2011. The building was turned over to the UW athletic program on Oct. 1,
2012. The building dedication and first game was Oct. 19, 2012, when the Wisconsin
women’s hockey team hosted Bemidji State.
Four teams are directly impacted by the new facility. Women’s hockey will practice
and compete in the 2,273-seat facility, while men’s hockey will practice there.
Both teams have expansive locker and team rooms as well as equipment and sports
medicine facilities. The building also houses the women’s coaching offices which
overlook the ice.
The men’s and women’s swimming programs have spacious locker rooms, a sports
medicine area, and huge team room with a view of Wisconsin’s majestic Capitol.
The arena is attached to its competition venue, the Southeast Recreation Building
or SERF, by an enclosed skywalk.
The arena includes a dedicated dining facility for all the teams which use the LaBahn
Arena and Kohl Center. The Kohl Center is attached to LaBahn by a long tunnel.
The total cost of the project was $27.9 million, with two-thirds of the cost coming
from gifts to UW Athletics and the remainder coming from bonding.
The LaBahn Arena is located on the southeast side of the UW campus. (105 East Campus
LaBahn Arena is named after Charles (UW-Madison '49) and Mary Ann LaBahn, the lead
donors for the project. Chuck LaBahn, a two-time letterwinner for the Badger swimming
team, has been a longtime supporter of various campus initiatives. He has helped
to fund projects in Athletics, the School of Business, the College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences, the School of Education and the Law School.
LaBahn, who served as director of the UW Foundation from 1974-96 and as chairman
of the Wisconsin Alumni Association in 1988-89, won the 1988 Pat O'Dea Award for
service to UW Athletics. He is also a winner of the University of Wisconsin Alumni
Club of Milwaukee's Distinguished Service Award.
The name of the ice sheet at LaBahn Arena is the “Lance Johnson Memorial Rink” in
recognition of a major gift to UW Athletics from Peter O. Johnson and his son, Erik
S. Johnson, and their families. Lance Johnson was Peter’s son and Erik’s brother.
Lance was an avid and accomplished Madison area youth hockey player before dying
in a car accident as a teenager in 1987.
Peter Johnson (UW-Madison BBA ’61) founded Madison-based Hy Cite Corporation in
1959. The company has become one of the leaders and innovators in direct sales,
internationally distributing the popular Royal Prestige brand of cookware and related
Erik (UW-Madison EMBA ’97) currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Hy Cite Corporation.
He has continued the legacy of philanthropy established by his father and supports
a number of causes in the Madison area including the United Way and Edgewood High
School. Also members of the University of Wisconsin Bascom Hill Society and the
Division of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Camp Randall Society, Erik and his wife,
Amy, have contributed generously to the UW Athletics annual fund and a number of
athletic facility campaigns over the past decade.
Check List of Team Amenities
La Bahn Arena is a tri-level complex that includes the following:
- 90' by 200' ice sheet for men's and women's hockey practice and women's competition,
with seating for 2,273 spectators
- Men's and women's hockey team locker rooms and a visiting team locker room
- Women's hockey office suite and associated support spaces
- Locker and team room functions for the men's and women's swimming programs
- A connecting skywalk to the Southeast Recreation Facility (SERF)
- Minor renovation within SERF to accommodate circulation between the pool and the
swimming teams' new locker suites
- Underground connection to the Kohl Center
- Relocation of the men's basketball locker suite to space vacated by the men's hockey
locker suite at the Kohl Center; expansion of training room facilities, and expansion
of laundry/equipment-issue facilities to accommodate the additional occupants of
Key in the creation of the facility was bringing the Badger hockey and swimming
teams to a centralized campus location for practice, competition and student services
such as academics and sports medicine.