MADISON - The University of Wisconsin Department of Athletics announced today that the school will play host to the Camp Randall Hockey Classic on Feb. 6, 2010 at Camp Randall Stadium.
The UW women's hockey program will take on the Bemidji State Beavers outdoors at the stadium as part of their weekend series, while the men's program will follow against the Michigan Wolverines in what will serve as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Game. Times for the games have not yet been set.
"The University of Wisconsin has one of the most famous football stadiums in college athletics and one of the most storied men's and women's hockey programs, as well," said Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. "That makes a perfect match for this kind of event and so we are delighted to be able to bring outdoor hockey to Madison."
The game will mark the second outdoor game in the modern era of Wisconsin men's hockey. For the first contest, 40,890 fans showed up at Lambeau Field to watch the Badger men's team skate to a 4-2 victory over Ohio State on Feb. 11, 2006. The Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic, as it was named, was also the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.
"We've already experienced one outdoor game and it was an event that is hard to describe," UW men's hockey coach Mike Eaves said. "The young men that played in it will remember it for the rest of their lives. I imagine playing outside at Camp Randall will be the same type of thing. It will be something they remember the rest of their lives and the fact that we can do it on our campus, and have an opportunity to set a record, that would be very, very cool. I think with the announcement there will be great excitement. I know our guys will be excited."
"It is very exciting to be playing at the stadium, especially for women's hockey," added women's hockey coach Mark Johnson. "It is an opportunity for them to play in front of a large crowd. We try to give student-athletes the chance to experience something different and this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
The game will mark the third outdoor game played in Division I men's college hockey since 2001 when Michigan faced Michigan State at Spartan Stadium on Oct. 6, 2001 in a game dubbed "The Cold War." That contest finished in a 3-3 tie in front of 74,544 fans, the current world record for an outdoor hockey contest.
"We're thrilled to be the invited team," said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. "The last outdoor game experience we had was terrific and if this can be any better for all the players and the fans then it will be a great experience for everyone."
The rink will be set up at the 50-yard line of the field at Camp Randall Stadium, with the rink reaching the 17-yard lines, approximately, on both ends. Camp Randall Stadium holds 80,321 fans for football games.
The men's game has been sanctioned by the NCAA as a fundraiser for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum in Eveleth, Minn. The game was established in 1974 and the University of Wisconsin has played in it three times, including a 6-4 victory in 1994 over Minnesota Duluth, a 2-1 defeat in 1998 to Notre Dame that opened hockey at the Kohl Center and the 4-2 victory over Ohio State at Lambeau Field in 2006.
Tickets for the general public are $25 each and will go on-sale Monday, May 4 at 8:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at UWBadgers.com, at the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office or by phone at 1.800.GO.BADGERS.
Student tickets are $10 each and will go on-sale beginning Monday, April 6 at 8:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at UWBadgers.com.