Tag: The Big Chill at the Big House

Big Chill - Michigan State v Michigan

Guinness sobers up numbers for ‘Big Chill’; certifies that 85,451 fans attended event


It’s not often that Guinness plays the role of party poopers.

Yet when it comes to its treasured book of world records, the brewers/fact-keepers are sticklers for the truth over “sweetened” numbers. James Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press reports that while University of Michigan media people reported a crowd of 113,411, the Guinness World Records folks “only” certified 85,451 people.

Despite this discrepancy, Jahnke reports that a crowd of 85,451 is still constitutes a record audience for a hockey game, besting the 77,803 drawn during the IIHF World Championships in Germany last summer.

Fudging the numbers seems like a time-honored attendance tradition, but 27,960 is a pretty “creative bit of accounting.” Jahnke’s story provides at least a little reasoning behind some of the difference.

“We will continue to work with Guinness to identify the exact number of people that went through the scanners and those who had their tickets torn,” said Matt Trevor, assistant media relations director for U-M hockey. “We knew we would end up with two different numbers because of different standards used.”

Trevor said Guinness doesn’t count those who were working the game, including media, staff and concession workers. Michigan does include those people in its attendance figure.

The Cold War between U-M and MSU in 2001 at Spartan Stadium drew 74,554 fans.

While saying you drew 100,000 fans to a hockey game obviously has a special ring to it, it’s still incredible that the “Big Chill” brought in more than 85,000. Ultimately, the rest is just gravy … the Guinness people just seem a bit more judicious in how they weigh it.

Michigan-Michigan State’s ‘Big Chill’ outdoor game should draw record crowd

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We’re already starting to get a little excited about the 2011 Winter Classic (featuring the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, if you don’t already know) here at PHT, but one thing the NHL cannot boast is drawing the largest crowd for an outdoor hockey game.

Nope, that designation will reportedly go to an NCAA outdoor game again. Michigan and Michigan State will celbrate their inner-state college hockey rivalry with “The Big Chill* at the Big House” about a month before the Winter Classic (January 11, 2010 to be exact) and they’ve reportedly sold a staggering 105,585 tickets to the event.

If you want to hear more about the interesting game, click here to watch a video with dramatic music and some history on the two teams. Should be a great time, indeed.

* – Not to be confused with the movie.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)