The Madison Capitols (USHL) have announced a change in venues, as the club is planning to shift its game to Hartmeyer Ice Arena for the 2017-18 season. Prior to this announcement, the Capitols had been playing at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
On Friday, the Capitols revealed their plans for the move. “We have enjoyed playing at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and they have been great partners of our over the last three years,” chairman Ryan Suter said in a statement. “We want to move into a venue that will allow us to create a more intimate and engaging fan experience during our games.”
The change in arenas will accomplish a few things for the Capitols. First, it will put the team in a more intimate venue, as Hartmeyer Ice Arena seats 3,500 for hockey compared to a figure close to 8,000 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum (though some sections were typically closed for Capitols games). In addition, it will give the club a chance to pursue upgrades for Hartmeyer Ice Arena.
It should also help on the scheduling side. According to Alliant Energy Center executive director Mark Clarke, an increasing number of bookings for the coliseum was making it difficult to ensure that the Capitols had enough dates available to fill out their home schedule. More from The Wisconsin State Journal:
Dane County, which operates the Coliseum, brought on venue management company SMG at the start of the year to book more events. That, Clarke said, limited the dates available for Capitols games, particularly on weekends.
“Financially, it just wasn’t making sense for their business model to be in an 8,000-seat stadium,” Clarke said. “Most USHL teams don’t play in a building nearly that big.
“And as busy as the Coliseum is getting now with concerts and events, I was having a really hard time getting them as many home dates as they needed for our agreement.”
The Capitols began playing at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 2014. The team’s first game at Hartmeyer Ice Arena is scheduled for October 6.