(left) DU hopes to put Bucky's season on ice this Saturday night
From: The Capital Times
by Jim Polzin
A low turnout at this weekend's Midwest Regional hosted by Wisconsin appeared likely until everything broke just right for the Badgers last weekend and they were included in the 16-team NCAA tournament field despite a losing record. As the host institution, UW automatically was placed at the Kohl Center.
According to UW assistant ticket director Andy Zywicki, 8,900 tickets had been sold to the two sessions -- two semifinals will be played on Saturday, followed by a final on Sunday -- as of Tuesday afternoon. Zywicki said about 2,400 tickets, or more than 25 percent of the current total, have been sold since the NCAA field was announced Sunday morning. Those figures don't take into account an allotment of 400 tickets each to North Dakota, Denver and Princeton, the other three schools participating in the regional.
"A lot of our fans were waiting to see what happened," Zywicki said, "and fortunately for us, things broke our way."
Sean Frazier, UW's associate athletic director for event management and services, said he expects the ticket sales to keep rising this week. He's optimistic the final totals will exceed UW's goal of 11,000 tickets sold. The Kohl Center holds 15,200 people for hockey.
"We use that number as a threshold, but obviously we're rapidly approaching and will pass that by game time," Frazier said. "I'm confident it will happen just because of the fact I'm confident in our fan base. Our fans are dedicated, they're supportive. We love our college hockey here."
UW officials no doubt were keeping their fingers crossed last weekend for two reasons as the Badgers awaited word on their postseason fate. Clearly, it was good for the program to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. Also, it may have put future bids to host in jeopardy had UW not been able to fill seats at the Kohl Center for the regional.
"That is obviously something that we were looking forward to," Frazier said of the Badgers earning a berth in the tourney. "I think that with our fans, they're the best in the country, they want to see the Badgers, and they want to see them at home. And that obviously is going to help the whole ticket situation."
Frazier also was quick to point out that institutions don't make bids to host an NCAA event strictly to make money.
"There's a financial element to it," he said, "but there's also an exposure element to it, which is critical for an institution as well as a community such as ours."