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Posted on Tue, May 10, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

Big Ten hockey will result in more interest, higher ticket sales for Michigan, Dave Brandon says

By Jim Knight

MIDLAND -- Expect even bigger crowds in Yost Ice Arena once Big Ten Conference hockey begins in 2013, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Tuesday.

Brandon, speaking at a Michigan Associated Press Sports Editors meeting, said facing traditional conference foes such as Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin will enhance offerings on the Big Ten Network, strengthen the league brand and ultimately create more excitement on the Michigan campus.

“I will sell more seats at Yost Arena knowing that we are going to tee it up against our big competitors in the Big Ten,” Brandon said. “We’ll still have a robust nonconference schedule … but at the end of the day, student-athletes that come to Michigan come to win Big Ten championships.”

The Wolverines averaged an announced attendance of 6,673 at its 18 games last season at Yost Arena, which has a listed capacity of 6,637. The season-high attendance at the 88-year-old building was the 6,900 that watched a 2-1 win over Ohio State on Feb. 12.

The Big Ten announced in March that Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will move from the CCHA and Minnesota and Wisconsin will leave the WCHA to form a Big Ten hockey conference with Penn State launching a program in 2012.

“Once Penn State had hockey, it changed everything,” Brandon said.

Big Ten hockey teams will play 20-game conference schedules and the winner of the league title will earn an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.



Wed, May 11, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

'bigten hockey' is a concoction of the bigten tv network. they can only telecast so many 'great games' from the 70's and 80's. the network needs programming. this creation gives the btn more winter evenings of live stuff.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

All the seats are already sold. Big mistake going to a Big 10 hockey set-up. Better to stick Penn St. out east somewhere. Look out for a merger of WCHA and CCHA that blows the socks off the Big 10 and possibly shuts Big 10 out of some rivalry crossover games. What kind of plan is in place to keep old rivalries intact? Certainly want to keep seeing Miami, WMU, LSSU and Ferris. These schools are also easier to get to for road games than Minnesota, Wisconsin and Penn St.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

I don't buy it. A six team Big Ten league is pretty weak. You need at least 8 to make it work. We already play Minnesota and Wisconsin at least once a year. I though Michigan moved to a weaker league when they left the WCHA to join the CCHA years ago. I find it hard to believe the attendance figures unless they count all tickets sole plus anyone inside the building. I am a season ticket holder and I saw a lot of empty seats.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

Already selling 36 more seats per game than capacity, what does the fire marshall say about selling even more tickets?