2010 : the Big Chill Sets Attendance Record for Outdoor Hockey Game

December 11, 2021 all-day

The Michigan salutes the student section at Michigan Stadium following the Wolverines’ 5-0 win over Michigan State at Saturday’s Big Chill at the Big House.

It really wasn’t much of a game by hockey standards. The Wolverines mopped the ice with the Spartans—5-0. But in terms of the record books, the December 11, 2010 Michigan/Michigan State hockey game at the Big House was the biggest of big games: at the time, the biggest crowd ever at Michigan Stadium; the biggest crowd ever for any NCAA event; and a still-standing world record for attendance at a hockey game. The late-arriving crowd didn’t make it easy on U of M athletic director Dave Brandon, and even once Guinness announced an initial count of about 85,000—8,000 more than was needed to break the previous record—he wasn’t satisfied. That’s because the university had announced a much more epic attendance of 113, 411 at the game itself. So what explains the discrepancy? Well, it turned out Guinness has a different method for calculating attendance at big sporting events: It relies on the number of tickets scanned at the gate, while Michigan Stadium officials had been counting the number of tickets sold. After a few months, the controversy was put to bed when Guinness released a final tally of 104,173—much closer to U of M’s original estimate. But it’s still a figure that leaves the door open for future shots at the record.

For the full article, see “The World’s Longest Turd and Other Michigan Record Breakers”, Found Michigan, October 4, 2012.

Kyle Austin, From the Cold War to the Big Chill, Michigan has set the precedent and standard for outdoor hockey, MLive, December 30, 2013.

Rich Rezler, “The Big Chill at the Big House: A comprehensive guide to Saturday’s coverage“, Ann Arbor News, December 11, 2010.

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