The NHL will be hosting its first game in Milwaukee since the 1990s. Fiserv Forum will host the Chicago Blackhawks for one game in October 2022:
The #NHL is coming to Milwaukee.
Fiserv Forum will host the Chicago Blackhawks for a game this October, per sources.
Will be the first NHL action in MKE since early 90’s. @WISN12News
— Dario Melendez (@Dario_Melendez) May 10, 2022
Why This Could be Significant For Milwaukee:
The Arizona Coyotes have played their last game in their current stadium. Reports are the the relationship between the team and the city is rocky, at best. If the Coyotes (or any other NHL franchise) is considering relocating, having one in Milwaukee would make a ton of sense.
The last time there was serious talk about an NHL franchise coming to Milwaukee was in the 1990s. That was when the Bradley Center was in full operation and an attractive host for an NHL team.
The Bradley Center could hold 17,600 hockey fans, and on the arena’s opening weekend an exhibition game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Blackhawks drew 16,292 people, while the next weekend drew almost 16,000 a night for two Milwaukee Admirals games.
In addition to the new arena, a market research study done by the Gordon S. Black Corp. was showing that Milwaukee was ready for an NHL team. According to the Los Angeles Times, the study concluded, “An NHL franchise will succeed in Milwaukee if Wisconsin Ice Hockey [the group that applied for the franchise] builds a quality, competitive team.”
While there is currently nothing in place to turn Fiserv Forum into a part-time hockey stadium, a large crowd for this game could turn some heads. According to Patrick McGann 4.8% of U.S.-born NHL players hail from the state of Wisconsin, combining for 3523 points. Wisconsin produces top-tier NHL talent. Joe Pavelski, Phil Kessel, Ryan Suter, Alex Galchenyuk, the Hawks’ very own Jake McCabe, and Cole Caulfield are all current NHLers who were born in Wisconsin. Narrowing this list to Blackhawks players include Jake McCabe, Adam Burish, Jack Skille, and Nick Schmaltz.
By now, you know where this is going. The NHL is missing out on what could be an absolute jackpot of a market in Wisconsin. If the NHL ever does go to Wisconsin, undoubtedly they would choose Milwaukee as the franchise’s destination. Milwaukee checks off every box when it comes to supporting an NHL franchise.