The Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday officially announced the inaugural Holiday Face-Off college hockey tournament, taking place Dec. 28 and 29 at Fiserv Forum.
The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team will take on the Clarkson Golden Knights, the Arizona State Sun Devils and the University of Connecticut Huskies in the first-ever hockey event at Fiserv Forum.
Tuesday's announcement confirmed previous reports by the Wisconsin State Journal that the University of Wisconsin-Madison had signed a contract for the tournament with New Jersey-based event producer Gazelle Group Inc.
Tickets for single-day and tournament packages, including discounts for college students, will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 5 at Fiserv Forum's website.
Semifinal play will take place on Monday, Dec. 28 with the Championship game and third-place game on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Matchups will be announced at a later date.
"We are proud to bring major college hockey to Fiserv Forum as we continue to offer a diverse list of events at the arena," said Peter Feigin, president of the Bucks and Fiserv Forum. "Milwaukee has a rich history of college hockey tournaments, and we look forward to continuing the tradition by hosting the Holiday Face-Off at Fiserv Forum into the future."
The tournament continues a longstanding Badger hockey tradition in Milwaukee. The Badger Hockey Showdown was hosted annually at the Bradley Center from 1989 to 2003, drawing an average of more than 26,000 fans per year. The event
was played at the Kohl Center in Madison from 2004 to 2009.
In addition, Milwaukee hosted the NCAA men’s Frozen Four in 1993, 1997 and 2006. In 2006, the Badgers won its most recent National Championship on the Bradley Center ice.
Badgers head coach Tony Granato said the new Milwaukee tournament is designed to be competitive, giving fans a chance to see elite teams.
"It’s been 15 years since we played in the city, so we are extremely excited to return," Granato said. "When we were approached to play in the tournament, it was an easy decision."
Gazelle Group is under a three-year contract to organize the event, but president Rick Giles said that agreement will likely be extended.
“We are excited to begin what we believe will be the top national men’s college ice hockey tournament in the country," Giles said.