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Posted on Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

Guinness Book of Records puts official Big Chill at The Big House attendance at 104,173

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan players celebrate their fifth goal of the game as fireworks explode in the background during third period action of the Big Chill hockey game at Michigan Stadium against Michigan State.

Lon Horwedel |

In the weeks following The Big Chill At The Big House, this much was true: The second outdoor meeting between the Michigan hockey team and rival Michigan State was played before a world record crowd.

The only question left to be answered was exactly how many people witnessed it.

Guinness World Records has set the new attendance mark at 104,173, Michigan officials confirmed Saturday. The mark shatters the former record of 77,803 set at last year's International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in Germany by more than 26,200 fans.

The final mark was in stark contrast to the first two numbers linked to the game, a 5-0 Michigan victory, last month that university officials announced was played in front of a stadium record 113,411.

Weeks later, though, Guinness said it would initially work off the number 85,451 based on tickets actually scanned the day of the game. The London-based records company said the attendance mark represented tickets scanned through the second period of the game and that a final tally would be announced at a later date.

The initial number was determined by the number of ticket scans that had been calculated by the middle of the second period, according to Guinness adjudicator Mike Janela, who was present at the event.

"That number was continuing to climb by the minute as the backlog of scans was getting tracked by their digital ticketing system," Janela wrote in an e-mail to "In order to make the announcement on time during the game, we had to just go with the existing number at that point."

Michigan officials based its number on the NCAA-accepted measure that goes by tickets sold and that includes media and other non-ticketed people who attended the game.

Michigan hockey spokesman Matt Trevor said Saturday that university officials reviewed photos and scans of the crowd to help provide Guinness officials a true idea of what the crowd size was.

The official attendance was announced during the Big Ten Network's broadcast of Friday night's 4-3 Michigan State overtime victory over Michigan in East Lansing.

Jeff Arnold covers Michigan hockey for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.



Sun, Jan 9, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Get over that was a great game for 20.00. I was part of the record breaker. Slap the players for a high five as they came down the tunnel. Come on!!!!


Sun, Jan 9, 2011 : 9:08 a.m.

The game certainly DID count in the standings. But beyond all the fun that was had the day of the game was the memories this gave countless kids and adults alike. There were "kids of all ages that played in "The Big House" in the days before the game. This gave many memories the will never forget. From the hockey players and their friends and relatives to the 5 or 6 young girls from the age of 4 to 9 who sang the National Anthem at their brothers squirt AA game. It is something that would lose its luster if done every year but kudo's to those that made it happen!


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 11:04 p.m.

It wasn't a gimmick or an exhibition game. The latter do not count toward standings and this game most certainly did. I was there and it was great fun. Just like The Cold War was in 2001. A huge crowd was exposed to a sport that many had never seen live and a lot of people (myself included) traveled from out of town to see the game...bringing welcome 'tourist' dollars to southeast Michigan. I don't see how it was anything but a win for everyone, including MSU who lost the game. All that said, yes the M Icers need more coverage here. Back when there was a printed Ann Arbor News, Michigan hockey reports were always on the front of the sports page on Saturday and Sunday.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

It truely was fun...


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

can we please end with the covergae of the gimmick game now; its been nearly a month! this "exhibition" game from december continues to get more media play than normal U-M hockey - and they just won the figgin GLI and now a favorite for the CCHA... enough with the gimmick game - cover the "sport" of hockey again PLEASE


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

It was a great and fun day know matter how many where at the game.