The battle of Michigan is one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports. But at least for a day, Michigan State (East Lansing) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) have a common goal: Both want to break an all-time hockey attendance record, dating back to the 1957 IIHF World Championship when the Soviet Union and Sweden skated to a 4-4 tie at the Lenin outdoor soccer stadium in front of an estimated crowd of 55,000 on March 5.
Since the college game scheduled for October 6 will be the Michigan Wolverines' lone appearance at the rivals' home in East Lansing in the 2001/2002-season, the Michigan State Spartans felt they had to stage something spectacular.
On June 18, Michigan State (MSU) announced that the 238th ice hockey game between the universities will be played at the outdoor Spartan Stadium, an arena usually used for football with a capacity of 72,027.
"This is more than just another hockey game between two old rivals", said MSU athletics director Dr. Clarence Underwood in a press statement. "The
initial response from fans has been overwhelming and our goal is to break the world record for hockey attendance".
It will be the first time in many years that a big hockey game in North America is played in an outdoor rink, but Red Berenson, the coach the Wolverines is no stranger to outdoor hockey. Berenson was a member of the 1959 Canadian National Team which toured Europe and played many games outdoors.
The rink will be located in the center of Spartans Stadium's football field and the portable ice surface, which will be provided by a California based company, is frozen using a series of aluminum plates and chilled with a 281-ton refrigeration unit.
Tickets will go on sale June 25. Tickets in the prime seating area will cost $18 while the remainder will be at $10.
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