Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best Road Trip of 2014: The Trip to Wisconsin

The Best Road Trip of 2014 has to be my mid-November journey to Madison, Wisconsin for Northern Kentucky's game against the Badgers.

The game didn't go well for the Norse as they were overwhelmed by then No. 3 Wisconsin, but the trip was outstanding.

I was able to make quick stops at Purdue and Illinois (trust me, I'll have a lot to say about Champaigne soon), as well as do some exploration in Madison.

I found Madison to be an excellent college city that is located perfectly between and around two lakes: Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.

It was cool to "sneak" into Camp Randall Stadium as well as check out the on-campus facilities for students.

Wisconsin's Kohl Center is a tremendous college basketball venue with great fans.

Here's a little info on the Kohl Center (via Wikipedia...which might be accurate):

The Kohl Center is an arena and athletic center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States. The building, which opened in 1998, is the home of the university's men's basketball and ice hockey teams, and the women's basketball team. It also housed the university's women's ice hockey team through 2012, after which they moved into the adjacent LaBahn Arena. Seating capacity is variable, as the center can be rearranged to accommodate a basketball court, a hockey rink, or a concert. The maximum capacity is 17,230 in its basketball configuration, and 15,359 for ice hockey. The center has three levels, with the floor holding about 7,500 people, and the two upper balconies about 4,500 each. It is the second largest indoor venue in Wisconsin and the largest outside Milwaukee. The arena is located on the southeast corner of the UW–Madison campus, at the intersection of West Dayton and North Frances Streets.

Location: 601 West Dayton Street Madison, WI 53715-1206

Owner and Operator: University of Wisconsin–Madison

Capacity: 17,230 (basketball) 15,359 (hockey)

Surface: Multi-surface 200' x 97' (hockey)

Construction Broke Ground: September 7, 1996

Opened: January 17, 1998

Construction Cost: $76.4 Million ($111 million in 2014 dollars)

The Badgers have the freakiest mascot I've ever encountered in person (more on that very soon, as well) and head coach Bo Ryan is the most serious coach in college basketball. It literally took a staffer almost choking to get him to even crack a smile.

I spent one night in Indianapolis and the next night in my car at Speedway in Champaigne (seriously).

All-in-all, the trip was amazing and if the opportunity presents itself, I'll be ready for round two.

Here are a few pics of videos from my quick trip to Wisconsin:

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