Pettit National Ice Center

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Pettit National Ice Center

The Pettit National Ice Center is an indoor ice skating facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, featuring two international-size ice rinks and a 400-meter speed skating oval. Located adjacent to Wisconsin State Fair Park, the center opened on January 1, 1993, and was named for Milwaukee philanthropists Jane and Lloyd Pettit. Although Wisconsin State Fair Park owns the land and the building, the Pettit National Ice Center Inc., a non-profit corporation, has operated the site since the facility opened.[1]

The Pettit Center replaced, and was constructed, on land once occupied by the Wisconsin Olympic Ice Rink, an outdoor facility that was in operation from 1967 to 1991. The indoor, climate-controlled Pettit Center was a major improvement and continues to attract many skating athletes from around the world. The West Allis Speedskating Club trains on its rink, as well as the Elite S.W.I.F.T. speed skating team featuring world class speed skaters. The Wisconsin Edge synchronized skating team practices on the figure skating rinks, shared with the Pettit Patriots youth hockey club.

The rink[edit]

The Pettit is one of only 29 indoor 400-meter ovals in the world, and is an official US Olympic training facility.[2] The Pettit has hosted numerous skating competitions, including the National Short and Long Track Speed Skating Championships, the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships, and the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Time Trials.

The rink also hosts a skating school that offers classes for children and adults in figure skating, ice hockey and speed skating.

Olympic speed skating gold medalists Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen were the rink's first skaters.

Facility statistics[edit]

  • $13 million facility
  • Area:
    • 200,000 square feet (18,600 m²) — total building
    • 155,000 square feet (14,400 m²) — arena
  • 97,000 square feet (9,000 m²) of total ice
  • 400-meter oval designed for long track speed skating
  • Two international-sized (30 metres (98 ft) x 61 metres (200 ft)) rinks for ice hockey, figure skating, and short track speed skating
  • 450-meter, three-lane jogging track surrounding the ice oval
  • 150-capacity Hall of Fame lounge over-looking the ice arena
  • Skate rental facilities with figure, hockey and speed skates

Track records[edit]


Event Name Country Time Date Avg. speed
100 meters Tucker Fredricks  United States 9.66 October 21, 2009 23.18 mph
500 meters Jeremy Wotherspoon  Canada 34.91 November 27, 2005 32.04 mph
1,000 meters Shani Davis  United States 1:08.33 November 26, 2005 32.74 mph
1,500 meters Chad Hedrick  United States 1:44.47 October 24, 2009 32.12 mph
3,000 meters Jonathan Kuck  United States 3:42.69 October 8, 2011 30.10 mph
5,000 meters Chad Hedrick  United States 6:16.23 October 26, 2008 29.73 mph
10,000 meters Jonathan Kuck  United States 13:17.28 December 18, 2010 28.05 mph


Event Name Country Time Date Avg. speed
100 meters Heather Richardson-Bergsma  United States 10.33 January 9, 2015 21.72 mph
500 meters Heather Richardson-Bergsma  United States 37.24 January 9, 2015 30.07 mph
1,000 meters Brittany Bowe  United States 1:13.81 January 11, 2015 30.31 mph
1,500 meters Brittany Bowe  United States 1:53.50 January 10, 2015 29.56 mph
3,000 meters Heather Richardson-Bergsma  United States 4:05.83 January 9, 2015 27.30 mph
5,000 meters Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann  Germany 7:02.11 February 6, 2000 26.50 mph
10,000 meters Melissa Dahlmann  United States 15:49.11 January 26, 2013 23.57 mph

Possible sale[edit]

Opened January 1, 1993, the Pettit National Ice Center combined private and public sources for its construction funding. A financial restructuring in conjunction with the State of Wisconsin in January 2007 allowed the Pettit Center to be relieved of burdensome lease payments and past-due rent to the State through a negotiated payment of more than $5 million funded by bank-sponsored financing and a $2 million private contribution. Today, the Pettit National Ice Center, Inc. operates as a private, 501(c)-3 non-profit corporation, that generates 90% of its revenue from operations, including public skating, skating instruction, youth and adult figure skating and hockey programs, running track, and group and corporate meetings, as well as Olympic training. The balance is received through facility and program sponsorships and charitable contributions. The Center has a balanced annual operating budget, while continuing to raise sponsorships and charitable contributions for payment of manageable debt obligations.


  1. ^ "Report Highlights". An Audit: State Fair Park. Janice Mueller, state auditor. June 2006. 
  2. ^ "About Us", August 9, 2006.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°01′32″N 88°00′57″W / 43.025602°N 88.015702°W / 43.025602; -88.015702