The Wisconsin mens hockey game on Saturday, Jan. 15 against Alaska Anchorage at the Kohl Center is sold out, joining the Badgers' Saturday, Feb. 5 contest against Minnesota as sell outs. The games will mark the seventh and eighth mens hockey sell-outs at the Kohl Center since the building opened in 1998.
Currently averaging 12,090 fans through 12 home dates, the Badgers are in striking distance of breaking their own NCAA record for single-season attendance average. Wisconsin attracted 12,153 fans per game during the 1998-99 season, the first year of the Kohl Center. Should the average improve slightly through Wisconsins final eight home games, with the possibility of playing host to additional WCHA playoff games at Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, it could break the mark. Typically, the second half of the mens hockey season draws better than the first and the trend appears to be continuing.
The Badgers had already sold out their Saturday, Feb. 5 home contest against Minnesota, the earliest sell-out of a mens hockey contest. Now, the Jan. 15 contest with Alaska Anchorage is officially sold out as well, giving Wisconsin its second sell-out of the 2004-05 season. Another pair of games, Feb. 4 against Minnesota (less than 1,500 tickets left) and Feb. 19 against Colorado College (fewer than 1,800 seats available) are closing in on sell-outs. Should all four games sell out, that would eclipse the the 2003-04 UW mark of three mens hockey sell-outs.
This weekend, Wisconsin plays host to the Badger Hockey Showdown as Yale, Clarkson and defending-champion Ferris State visit the Kohl Center. Prior sales for the weekend are nearing 11,000 for New Years Eve and 12,000 for New Years Day. Last year, the Showdown attracted slightly under 11,000 for both nights.
The remaining home games of this season, Jan. 14 against Alaska Anchorage and Feb. 18 against Colorado College have both sold nearly 10,500 tickets.
Wisconsin hockey has led the nation in attendance 30 times, including all six years of the Kohl Centers existence. Last season, the Badgers drew a total of 269,123 people, setting the single-season total attendance mark previously held by Wisconsin during the 1998-99 season. The 23-home game average was 11,701, third highest in NCAA history.
The Kohl Center officially holds 15,237 people for ice hockey, second most among NCAA schools. Ohio States Value City Arena, site of the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four, leads the country with a capacity of 17,500.