Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Everyone should buy Hockey Classic ticket

The world of hockey has found a way to create a buzz it has never experienced before, and the way the sport has done it is surprisingly simple — play outside.

Who knew football fanatics and baseball purists would be so enthralled by hockey in outdoor venues?

Well, the outdoor hockey parade is making its way to Madison after a successful stop in Boston for the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. The Wisconsin men’s and women’s teams will play on a newly constructed ice surface in Camp Randall Stadium on Feb. 6.


Initially, the UW Athletic Department hoped to shatter attendance records by filling Camp Randall to its maximum capacity, but that’s not going to happen. Not even close.

So far, around 42,000 tickets have been sold for the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic, a high number (more than the most recent Winter Classic), but there are an abundance of great seats remaining.

So the obvious question is this — why aren’t more people buying tickets?

Beats me. I can’t think of one reason not to attend the outdoor game at Camp Randall. Not even the potential of cold weather or snow or even rain.

Now I’m not about to explain why you need to give hockey your attention. I’m not going to talk about the sport’s non-stop action and unparalleled intensity. I’m not going to discuss the jaw-dropping athletic ability hockey players display on a sheet of ice, despite having the thought of a hip-check into the boards constantly in the back of their minds.

I’m not going to touch on these things because I know hockey isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine.

But the Camp Randall Classic is more than just another hockey game, and hockey in one of college football’s most historic venues is. in fact. for everyone.

So with a little over a week left to purchase tickets, here is a rundown of some of the undeniable reasons why any student with 10 bucks ($25 for the general public) and a free Saturday afternoon should be making the walk down to Camp Randall on Feb. 6.

An incredibly unique viewing experience

I’ve mentioned the NHL’s Winter Classic before, and the recent games featured in Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are a preview of what is about to take place in Madison.

What’s great about outdoor games is the fact that it brings us back to hockey’s roots.

Hockey was born outdoors, and almost every player at the collegiate or professional level has memories of playing on a local pond with friends. And while watching the outdoor games over the years, you can’t help but notice the energy brought to the ice.

There is something about getting these hockey players back outside that creates a whole new level of intensity. Maybe it’s because it brings them back to their youth out on a frozen pond, or maybe it’s the fact that the audience is twice the size of the largest crowd they’ve ever played in front of.

Watching a hockey game in our own historic football stadium is a rare opportunity and with this one of a kind experience just down the street, it would be a foolish opportunity to waste.

Everyone loves beating Michigan

The Badgers’ opponent in the Camp Randall Classic isn’t St. Cloud State and it isn’t Michigan Tech.

Taking the ice against UW is a familiar foe — the old maize and blue.

You may not know one player on Michigan’s hockey roster, but it’s a program everyone here in Madison loves to hate, and it’s always an event when the Wolverines come to town (even if they are suddenly mediocre at everything).

Keep in mind, the Badgers and Wolverines met earlier this season in Ann Arbor and it was a game Michigan ended up winning 3-2. It was an opportunity missed for UW, and you can be sure head coach Mikes Eaves and his team will be looking forward to getting another shot at Michigan.

For all those hockey-haters out there, the matchup between these two programs should be enticing enough in itself.

The greatest trophy in all of sports will be in attendance

The NHL doesn’t get a lot of love from the national media.

ESPN’s hockey coverage has become a five-minute segment where Barry Melrose comes on and talks about how good Sidney Crosby is. And unless you want to watch the Blackhawks and Red Wings play for the 56th time on NBC, the only channel to watch a nationally televised game is Versus (Wednesday night’s Versus schedule: Cagefighting, Sports Jobs with Junior Seau and Cagefighting — that’s what we’re dealing with here).

But despite the NHL’s embarrassing lack of coverage, Gary Bettman’s league has one thing earning every sports fan’s undoubted respect — Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The Stanley Cup is the single greatest trophy in all of sports. There is no further debate, and luckily everyone with a ticket to the game gets the chance to see it in person at the Coca-Cola Fan Experience, which will be available before and during the game.

A chance to watch a national championship contender

Let’s be honest, everyone loves to see a winner.

There is a reason no one is paying to see the Atlanta Thrashers (don’t worry if you never knew that team actually existed — they’re practically irrelevant).

Here is a chance to watch the Badgers, currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, on the biggest stage. If you’ve read our coverage of the men’s hockey team over the season, this is not news to you.

If you haven’t, a season recap up to this point is simple — the Badgers are proving they are championship worthy and expectations are nothing short of a Frozen Four berth.

That alone should be enough to get fans out to Camp Randall next Saturday.

Max is a junior majoring in journalism. Have you bought your Camp Randall Hockey Classic tickets yet? Did he convince you to buy one? He can be reached at [email protected]

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