Though Michigan officials initially announced an unofficial crowd of 113,411 for The Big Chill at the Big House on Dec. 11, Guinness World Records only gave the university credit for 85,451. It was still the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game, but the announcement of a significantly smaller crowd was a bit disappointing.
There may be a legitimate reason for the discrepancy, however. The Michigan Daily reported that broken ticket scanners may have been the culprit, according to athletic department spokesman Matt Trevor:
Additionally, Guinness only counted tickets that were scanned — not tickets that were ripped to show admittance, Trevor said. Because of the cold temperatures, some of the scanners’ batteries died, Trevor said, so those admitting people into the Big House had to start ripping tickets instead of scanning them.
"At some point during the day most (employees) who had scanners had to change out the battery, and during that time they had so many people still trying to come through," Trevor said.
The athletic department said they will continue to work with GWR officials to certify the count, a process that may including counting people from photographs of the event. Good luck with that, guys.
If you want to help out, you can set the DVR on Christmas or New Years Day and count for yourself when Fox Sports Detroit will air replays of the contest. If you can’t wait that long, you can always buy the DVD, availible from the M Den for $19.99.
FSD replays will air at 3 p.m. on Christmas Day and 5 p.m. on New Years. By airing at 5.p.m, the New Years replay will avoid competing with the NHL’s Winter Classic and Michigan and Michigan State’s bowl games.