It’s been settled: The crowd for The Big Chill At The Big House was 104,073.
Roughly a month after the outdoor ice hockey game was held at Michigan Stadium, Guinness World Records finally settled on the official attendance figure for the event. In the immediate aftermath of the game, there was a large discrepancy between Michigan and Guinness as to how many people filled the seats.
Michigan announced a crowd of 113,411, a figure that obliterated the previous world record of 77,083. Guinness tallied 85,451, which was still a new world record attendance, but obviously far short of Michigan’s count.
Anyone in attendance at The Big House on December 11 would argue that at least 100,000 people were in the stadium. But the enormous difference in figures had to do with a problem in scanning tickets at the game. A Guinness spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that “further evidence had to be provided.”
So Michigan took the ticket scanning numbers and camera footage to CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos to determine a more accurate figure. The information was presented to Guinness, they gave it the thumbs up, and the final numbers were released.
Michigan fans get the nice, round, six-digit figure that they were hoping for (and that anyone with a working pair of eyes agreed with). And college hockey (along with the Michigan and Michigan State programs) get the signature event they can use to promote the sport. Ultimately, it all worked out.