No Guinness world record for hockey attendance at Winter Classic

Submitted by Raoul on January 24th, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Nick Cotsonika, who covers the NHL for Yahoo Sports, reports on Twitter that the NHL will not get the Guinness world record for hockey attendance for the Winter Classic held at Michigan Stadium.

NHL sold 105,491 tix, enough to break record. But fans were still entering in second because of weather. Not all tix were scanned.

Guinness would certify only fans whose tickets were scanned, plus some media and league officials.

Michigan keeps record of 104,173, set at Big Chill in 2010. NHL still shatters its own record.

He didn't report the figure that Guinness certified.

EDIT: Cotsonika has a story out now.

The NHL still obliterated its own attendance record of 71,217, set at the first Winter Classic in 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, by about 30,000.

. . .

But make no mistake: This is a blow. NBC trumpeted the Winter Classic as the biggest hockey game ever. Some merchandise referenced the world record. NHL officials tried to think of everything they could to count everyone– even using hand-warmers to keep the scanners’ batteries from freezing.

After warm-ups New Year’s Day, the public-address announcer told the fans that they were already part of an NHL-record crowd – and that they had the “potential” to be part of a world-record crowd. As it turns out, the Guinness record will remain with the University of Michigan.



January 24th, 2014 at 8:22 PM ^

That's cool for the Big Chill to keep the record, and I'm glad to have been at both.  The Winter Classic was just on a completely different level, though.  Best sporting event I have ever attended, and that includes a few decent ones.


January 24th, 2014 at 8:29 PM ^

As a side note, in case people didn't see this, Dave Brandon recently revealed the beer sales at the Winter Classic (note at bottom of this DetNews article):

On how many cups of beer were sold at Michigan Stadium during the NHL’s Winter Classic on New Year’s Day: “At $9 a cup, close to 75,000. That’s $650,000 worth of beer.”


January 24th, 2014 at 9:41 PM ^

Yeah! Maybe he'll use it to make going to Michigan football games mildly more affordable, in recognizance of their incredible budget surplus and the shitty product they put out!

... Nah. Be right back, I have to go mail Michigan my mandatory "donation" for the right to then overspend on season tickets


January 25th, 2014 at 8:58 AM ^

As I always ask, where is this "incredible budget surplus" you speak of? I've seen recent financials of the AD, though not this past year's, and although we are definitely not losing money (as we were in the 90s), the surplus is not huge. If I remember correctly, almost all of it goes back into their capital commitments for building the boxes at the Stadium, and the Yost and Crisler improvements, plus the other projects going on now and in the future.


January 25th, 2014 at 9:07 AM ^

I was trying to think of a way we could possibly break the record again. The Big Chill was a novelty. I don't think the Big Chill II could break it, but Michigan vs the Redwings would crush it. Could an exhibition even be possible? My guess is that it would have to be in early October.

SF Wolverine

January 24th, 2014 at 10:37 PM ^

Big House has seen biggest crowd at: (1) college football game; (2) hockey game of any type, in this case college; and (3) NHL game.

Maybe they should flood the field, a/la the Coliseum, and have a swim meet.


January 25th, 2014 at 12:00 AM ^

I hate that Virginia tech and clemson are going to play a football game at a nascar venue that seats 300,000 or something. I hope Guinness categorizes it as the largest attendance of a football game NOT played in a traditional football stadium.

Helluva redneck shit show that'll turn into.


January 25th, 2014 at 1:25 AM ^

I have a love hate relationship with DB. He's giving us national championship level facilities in every sport and opens the checkbook for assistants, but the down side is him trying to invent our tradition and doing stupid gimmicky things.

Evil Empire

January 25th, 2014 at 9:17 AM ^

Not sure if its egomania or something else, but he's way too much of a public figure for my taste.  It's fun to imagine how busy a press pool would be for a school that employed Brandon as AD, Charlie Weis as football coach, and Tom Izzo as basketball coach.  They'd never get any rest.


January 25th, 2014 at 7:39 AM ^

UM made no money on the beer sales, turnkey operation.  We got the check, the NHL controlled everything.

In the spring of 2012, before the 2013 Winter Classic was canceled with the rest of the NHL games, Brandon said he hoped the NHL broke the record, so we could re-break it the next time UM  hockey played at the Big House.