The sudden spate of interest in outdoor college hockey games is close to reality in at least one place.
The Wisconsin Badgers are in the process of hammering out final details with officials at Lambeau Field, home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, to play a game there next February.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Badgers will face either Michigan Tech or Ohio State on Feb. 11, 2006. WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod expects details to be finalized in March or April.
According to the article, McLeod wants a WCHA opponent (Michigan Tech) for the game, but field officials are eyeing a matchup against a Big 10 football opponent, thus Ohio State. The Buckeyes would need to rearrange an already-scheduled CCHA game set for Feb. 11 against Michigan State.
John Jones, the CEO for the Packers who came up with the idea to bring college hockey to Lambeau Field, said plans call for creating an amphitheater effect at the north end of the stadium with seating for 30,000 to 35,000, according to the State Journal.
“We’re just trying to give a great location and atmosphere for the Badger skaters to get on the ice and have a good game. That’s our vision,” Jones told the paper.
The matchup at Lambeau Field would provide a great tuneup for a bigger event — in pure hockey terms — that will take place a month later: The NCAA Regional, which will be hosted by Green Bay’s Resch Center, across the street from Lambeau. The 2006 Frozen Four will also be in Wisconsin, at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.