Located on the University of Wisconsin campus, the Kohl Center has been the home for the UW Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Hockey teams since 1998. The Kohl Center is named after U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin), a 1956 graduate of UW-Madison. Kohl, a successful local businessman before becoming a senator, donated $25 million to the project. This donation was the single largest private donation in University history. Former Wisconsin Badgers basketball player, Albert Nicholas and his wife also made significant financial contributions to the construction of the Kohl Center.
The colossal $76.4 million Kohl Center, which contains enough concrete to build a sidewalk straight from Madison to Chicago, towers over the southeast corner of the UW-Madison campus. Replacing the old beloved but outdated Field House located adjacent to Camp Randall, the Kohl Center seats roughly 17,000 for a basketball game, 14,000 for hockey and somewhere between those figures for concerts and graduations. Fans, students and alumni attest to its splendor.
In its brief history, the Kohl Center has already been home to a terrific winning streak; the UW Men’s Basketball team won 38 straight games at the Kohl Center. Unfortunately, the streak ended during the 2004-2005 season, thanks to the No. 1 ranked University of Illinois who went on to the Final Four. The Kohl Center is also proud to report that it has the highest attendance in NCAA Men’s Hockey. Once inside, tradition and school pride run prevalent with championship banners, W's everywhere and fans creating a sea of red. Few other places pack so much pride into one space.
Set in a University town, the Kohl Center has been a great addition for the city of Madison drawing in some top touring musical acts. Performers such as Phish, Bon Jovi, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Dave Matthews Band, and Bob Dylan have all stepped onto the stage at the Kohl Center over the years.
Seating is such at the Kohl Center that there are two overhanging balconies which allow fans the best view possible. The Kohl Center is the first arena in the United States to use a variable rise system for end seating. Because of the differences in size of the basketball court and hockey rink, seats must be mobile horizontally to fit tighter around the court and vertically to accommodate its different height. The Kohl Center staff meets this challenge with a system of inner risers that includes sliding trays and a lift system at both endlines. This lift raises 750 seats a total of seven feet. The result is an arena that feels dedicated to just the sport that is out on the floor. In addition, there is a state-of-the-art sound system, as well as TV monitors in the suites and at the concession stands at the Kohl Center.
Visitors to the Kohl Center can also enjoy color-filled blown glass artwork created by Dale Chihuly, a former UW student and world-renown glass artist. Parking is easily accessed at and near the Kohl Center, through lots both street-level and in high rises within walking distance from the Center. The Kohl Center is also a quick walk from many local taverns and eateries, including the exciting college scene on historic State Street a few short blocks away.
601 W. Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53715