Monday, October 3, 2022

Icers take on U-M in Spartan Stadium

August 23, 2001
SGA Production Staging Inc. produced a sketch of what fans will expect to see when Spartan Stadium is converted to an ice arena Oct. 6 for the MSU-Michigan ice hockey game. —

As students continue to prepare for the upcoming semester and all the fun to be had at Spartan Stadium, one thing comes to mind.

Hockey.

That’s right, the game that is beloved most by those north of the border is invading one of America’s hallowed football fields.

When MSU and Michigan lace up their skates for “The Cold War” on Oct. 6, the crowd will break an attendance record and the players will serve time in a penalty box near the 40-yard line.

Make no mistake, this game is a big deal - both teams made it to last year’s Frozen Four.

“I wouldn’t miss it for a final,” said Dave Cormier, an interdisciplinary studies in social sciences junior.

Cormier, who had season tickets last year, said he plans on tailgating before the game.

“I’ll treat it like any other event in the stadium. It’ll be like a normal game day since it’s a bye week for football,” he said.

Tickets for the game are included in student season-ticket packages, but are also available individually.

“I’ll most likely buy a ticket from somebody,” MSU alumnus Mike Canasi said. “I haven’t gotten one yet, but I want to tailgate and make a day of it.”

Because the game will feature intrastate rival U-M, there’ll definitely be some visiting fans at the stadium.

But Cormier believes the game will bring positive attention to MSU on a national level.

“As long as things don’t get out of control, it’ll be great,” Cormier said. “It’s a night game, there will be fans from both schools there, plus probably a lot of alcohol.

“But I’m not worried. We’ve shown we can act with class before and we’ll do it again.”

Canasi is not so sure about a hassle-free evening.

“I’m sure there will be problems,” Canasi said. “It just depends on the police and how much security there is.”

Advertising senior Todd Mason thinks the crowd will be wilder than normal.

“I think it’ll be worse than the U of M-MSU football game,” Mason said. “They’ve never done anything like this before, so it should be cool.”

Some people plan to attend for the atmosphere of “The Cold War” alone. Canasi said if he can’t get a ticket, he’ll still go to tailgate.

“I’ll still go without a ticket,” Canasi said. “I’ve been to football tailgates without going to the games.”

Mason said he’s going just to see something a little out of the ordinary.

“I am going because it’s going to be a different experience,” Mason said. “I’ve played (hockey) outside a couple of times in the dead of winter, but, since it’s in the fall, I don’t know how they’re going to swing it.

“They’re taking a chance by having it in October. In my experience, the games have been slower and more old-school stuff goes on because the ice might not be a perfect sheet.”

Besides the appeal of outdoor hockey, the enormous crowd expected at the game will be a spectacle in itself.

“The Cold War” crowd is set to break the world record for hockey attendance - set at 55,000 in Moscow in 1957 - by almost 20,000 people. Spartan Stadium seats 72,027.

For fans like Mason, a self-avowed “hockey nut,” the hoopla is not the main attraction.

“Both of these teams are always good at hockey,” Mason said. “I’ve seen ’em at the (Great Lakes Invitational) tons of times and it’s always a good game.”

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