MADISON — A new five-year agreement with Madtown Hockey, LLC will bring an expansion team from the United States Hockey League to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center (AEC) for the first time in 20 years, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has announced.
“We’re excited to welcome USHL hockey back to the Coliseum after nearly 20 years,” said Parisi. “We know that, together with USHL hockey, we can provide an exciting experience for fans. This partnership is yet another reason why the Alliant Energy Center remains such an important contributor to Dane County’s regional economy, and continues to offer world-class entertainment for residents and visitors.”
The United States Hockey League’s Board of Directors has approved the new Member Club that will play in Dane County at the AEC’s Coliseum. The team will be owned and operated by Madtown Hockey, LLC, a consortium of veteran and new USHL owners.
Pending final approval by the Dane County Board, the more than $800,000, five-year agreement would begin in time for the 2014-15 USHL season. A naming contest for the team will be announced later this year.
“I remember going to hockey games in the Coliseum as a kid. The environment there was awesome. We plan to bring that energy back with USHL hockey,” said Tom Garrity, CEO of Quan Sports Management and a Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin native who is part owner of the team and will be assisting with its launch.
“We really appreciate the efforts of the Alliant Energy Center staff in making this happen and are very excited to work with them to bring a great product to the people of Madison and its surrounding areas,” said Saul Treiman, the team’s Chairman and part-owner.
Dane County first hosted a Madison USHL team for 11 seasons from 1984 to 1995, competing as the Madison Capitols until 1991, and then as the Wisconsin Capitols until 1995. During that time, the Capitols won over 200 games, including a team record 33 games in both the 1986-87 and 1988-89 seasons under coach Scott Owens, the now long-time head coach at Colorado College.
The USHL is widely considered an elite proving ground that has graduated some of the talent competing in college and professional hockey today. Nearly 40 percent of NCAA Division I hockey players are alumni of the USHL, (including 15 of the 26 players for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers last season) and 99 percent of USHL players earn Division I hockey opportunities.