Let's Play Ball!
Madison has a sport for every season highlighted by the University of Wisconsin’s Big Ten athletics programs. There is much more to Madison sports than the Badgers. In a ranking of 423 U.S. cities, Madison ranked 133 rd among Best Sports Cities (https://wallethub.com/edu/best-sports-cities/15179/#main-findings).
Winter can be long in Wisconsin, but the Kohl Center is plenty warm with Wisconsin Badgers men’s
basketball. The Badgers basketball team qualified for back-to- back NCAA Final Four’s in 2014 and 2015, advancing to the National Championship game in 2015. Filling in Wisconsin in your March Madness bracket has become a regular occurrence with the team qualifying for the tournament 19 consecutive seasons.
On the ice, the Badgers hockey teams entertain Madison residents throughout the cold weather months. Former NHL standout and Wisconsin alumnus Tony Granato is the head coach of the storied men’s hockey team. Wisconsin owns six NCAA Tournament championships winning most recently in 2006. The program has qualified for the Frozen Four 12 times.
The women’s hockey team has also seen success on the ice winning the NCAA Tournament championship four times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011) within a six-year period. The squad has qualified for the Frozen Four 10 times in the past 12 years including the past four seasons.
Even more hockey can be caught in person as Middleton’s Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena plays host to the Madison Capitols of the United States Hockey League, a Tier I junior ice hockey league. Former NHL star Ryan Suter is part owner of the club.
Summer is baseball season in Madison as the city hosts the Mallards of the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Playing its home games at Warner Park on Madison’s north side, the Mallards regularly pack the stadium and the “Duck Blind” is a favorite for many fans and company outings.
There may be no better college football atmosphere than Camp Randall Stadium on a beautiful autumn day. Badgers football has honed the football careers of several NFL stars including J.J. Watt, Russell Wilson, Ron Dayne, Alan Ameche, Melvin Gordon, and Pro Football Hall of Famers Arnie Herber, Elroy Hirsch, and Mike Webster. Twenty-Eight Badgers have earned Consensus All-America and the program has churned out two Heisman Trophy winners while teams have competed in 28 bowl games (including nine Rose Bowl appearances) throughout its storied history.