Milwaukee to host Blackhawks NHL regular-season game, per report – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee to host Blackhawks NHL regular-season game, per report – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Dario Melendez, sports director at WISN Channel 12 in Milwaukee, tweeted that the Chicago Blackhawks expected to schedule a game in Milwaukee during the 2022-23 season, in October, at Fiserv Forum. 
Melendez followed up adding that the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild, two teams who join the Blackhawks with a following in the Milwaukee area, would be the likeliest opponents.
The Predators serve as the parent club for the Milwaukee Admirals, a championship-winning American Hockey League franchise that has played in Milwaukee for more than five decades and calls the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, a block from Fiserv Forum, its home.
The NHL typically releases its schedule for the upcoming year during the third week of June.
Most Milwaukee residents know the story of the since-demolished Bradley Center, initially constructed with one eye toward attracting an NHL franchise to the city. But Jane and Lloyd Pettit rescinded their bid for a team in 1990, citing several financial factors, and the possibility never materialized.
Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA served as the arena’s anchor tenant during its run from 1988 to 2018, with the Admirals also playing their home games there.
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The venue was made possible because of a massive donation from Jane Bradley Pettit and her husband, Lloyd, owners of the Admirals and philanthropists who had also helped fund construction of the Pettit National Ice Center, an Olympic training rink at State Fair Park. The arena was named after her father, Harry Lynde Bradley, the former board chairman and co-founder of Allen-Bradley. Cost of construction was $90 million, and the new venue helped keep the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But on Oct. 1, 1988, the first event in the Bradley Center featured the Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers in an NHL exhibition game, a game that maintained its buzz even after Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in August.
Lloyd had been an Emmy-winning radio broadcaster for the Blackhawks, but bringing an expansion NHL franchise would have cost an extra $50 million entrance fee, plus an added indemnity fee (potentially $10 million to $15 million) for starting a new franchise in the Blackhawks’ orbit. Milwaukee was just 13 miles away from being considered outside Chicago “territory.” The structure of the expansion draft also made it unlikely that Milwaukee would have fielded a competitive team for several years.
The arena also hosted an exhibition game between the Vancouver Canucks (then affiliated with the Admirals) and Los Angeles Kings in 1989 (Gretzky played this time), with the Canucks spending an extended part of the preseason training in Milwaukee. The Canucks and Blackhawks played another exhibition game in 1990, and the Canucks played the Minnesota Stars in 1991. 
The Bradley Center then hosted regular-season games in 1992 (Blackhawks vs. Kings) and 1993 (Capitals vs. Red Wings).
Fiserv Forum hosted the inaugural Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off college hockey tournament, featuring the University of Wisconsin, in 2021 and has a contract with event organizer The Gazelle Group to host the event twice more. 
The Predators and Wild both made the playoffs this year, with Nashville eliminated in the opening round and Minnesota tied in its first-round series with St. Louis, 2-2. The Blackhawks, who won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015, have not won a playoff series since and only reached the postseason once in the past five years.
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.


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