UPDATE: Kohl Center to replace championship banners

Richard Hurd, Flickr

Wisconsin's historic banners at the Kohl Center have been removed from the rafters.

UPDATE:

Well, certainly better than virtual banners. Guess we're in wait and see mode now.

The Wisconsin men's hockey team dropped the puck for its home opening series at the Kohl Center over the weekend with a sweep of Northern Michigan. While the on-ice results were pleasant for the home fans, the gameday experience was, well, anything but.

Complaints over the new concession contracts have been well documented at Camp Randall Stadium this fall, and it appears to have carried over to the Kohl Center as well, according to some message board posters:

"I think they only had 3 or 4 stands open on the second floor, lines were long and slow. food is either more expensive, smaller in size or both. very disappointing. It was so bad, it ruined my game time experience on Saturday. They did this and took the contract from the w club. But they have salads. I am sure those sold great."

Another disappointment was the absence of Wisconsin's "Enter Sandman" introduction before the game. The song has become a tradition for the program to the point where I started receiving e-mails from upset fans over the weekend wondering why Metallica's anthem wasn't being blasted prior to puck drop.

But no question was asked more often than UW puck heads wondering why the championship banners that hung from the Kohl Center ceiling had vanished. The official response from the Wisconsin communications staff was that they were working on new, more visible recognition of the championships.

Hard to complain about new, more visible banners, right?

Wrong.

According to Andy Baggot from the Wisconsin State Journal, championship banners will no longer hang from the Kohl Center rafters. The WSJ story notes UW officials feel there is too much clutter and and not enough room for expansion.

Oy.

The solution? Virtual banners on the electronic ring video board that circles the arena. Baggot notes the display will change for each tenant, whether it's men's or women's basketball or men's or women's hockey.

Oy. Oy.

The blood, sweat and tears shed earning Wisconsin hockey's six hockey national championships and Badger basketball's 1941 NCAA title will no longer hang in physical form, as is tradition in every sporting arena in the world. Instead, a cheapened electronic version will flash when some intern is given the green light on game day.

Oy. Oy. Oy.

For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter --
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)

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