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  • Eric Hasman

Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena - Madison Capitols

Photos by Eric Hasman, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57

Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena 2616 N Pleasant View Rd

Middleton, WI 53562

Year Opened: 1999 Capacity: 2,600


Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wisconsin

The Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena is in Middleton, WI approximately 15 minutes northwest from downtown Madison, WI.

The Madison Capitols have been in existence since 1984. The Capitols have been a member of the United States Hockey League (USHL) since 1994. In 1994 new ownership, took over (Ryan Suter, defenseman for the Minnesota Wild and Tom Sagissor, a former Wisconsin Badger) as part of the ownership group.

The team relocated from the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI to Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena starting the 2017–18 season. Reasons cited for the move included a decrease in available dates for hockey at the Alliant Energy Center. The team has not been very successful on the ice making the playoffs two times in their USHL existence. Since joining the USHL there has been eight players who have been drafted by NHL teams.

Food & Beverage 2

The food selection is slim here. They have the classic hot dogs for $4.50, a Sondel Dog for $5.50 and a brat for $5. Of course, there are Nachos ($5) and Nachos Supreme ($6). Slices of Pizza are available for $6. A "large" (22 oz) fountain soda will set you back $3 and a16 oz costs $2 and Gatorade is $4. Bottle water, ice tea or chocolate milk (interesting choice) is $3. The arena has two interesting items, a cup / bowl of Mac & Cheese for $5 or $6 and $3 beef stick Wisconsin.

I did not see a full bar service however a 16 oz domestic beer can craft brews like Spotted Cow (a Wisconsin favorite) and Fantasy Factory are $6. Small bottles of wine, White Claw or Twisted tea cost $6.

If coffee is your thing, they have you covered here there since they have Espresso (hot or cold) from $3.50 to $5.50. Iced coffee or Iced Chai Tea range from $4 to $5.50, and Frappuccino from $4.25 to $5.75. In addition, there is Acai, Dragon Fruit that costs $4 to $5.

The workers are friendly and provide a good service and are very friendly. I would suggest that you wait until the game starts before you get in line.

Atmosphere 2

The facility consists of two hockey rinks separated by the main lobby that is full of commerce from the local high school or club players and the fans from the Capitol game intermingling with one another. Speaking of the lobby, it’s small and cramped. There are two (2) box office windows and a food / beverage stand.

The arena features a low-level ceiling, seats on both sides of the ice (the south side has many more seats than the north), and suite seating up above the north side that requires a separate entrance from the main lobby. The seven (7) suites provide a very nice view of the arena and also include food service. On one end of the arena there is a 2,000 square foot beer garden, the Eagles Nest.

A video board is located on the opposite end of the Eagles Nest which provides some entertainment during stops in play and at intermission that includes fan interactions, player stats, and pregame videos. An old-time scoreboard which only shows the score, period and penalty minutes/player number hangs over center ice. The Capitols have not been very successful on the ice as there is only one banner honoring the 2021-22 Eastern Conference Champions.

D.C. Eagle, an Eagle, is the official mascot of the team that can be seen throughout the building at certain times offering hugs to fans of all ages. There is a small gift shop in the building that has some t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and jerseys. Of course, there is the obligatory chuck-a-puck.

Neighborhood 1

Since the arena is located in a business park, there is not much to do in the direct area but there are plenty of places within 15 minutes.

Near the Capitol Ice Arena is Monk's Bar and Grill (general bar food-sandwiches, wraps, burgers, chicken, pizza and salads). The burgers here are very good. A bonus is that the Monk’s gives a discount for the food if you show your Madison Capitols ticket. A meal here is about $12 to $18.

Food choices within seven miles of the area include:

  • Biaggi’s Italian Ristorante (classic Italian fare-pizzas, pastas, salads, soups and seafood/steaks). A meal here is approximately $18 to $25.

  • Nitty Gritty (general bar food-sandwiches, wraps, burgers, chicken, pizza and salads). A meal here is about $12 to $18.

  • Portillo's (Italian beef, burgers and salads for all you Chicagoland people), and

  • Ancho & Agave (Mexican food).

The Capital Brewing is within 10 minutes from the arena and is good places for drinks and a full food menu if you enjoy microbrews. Of course, downtown Madison is near so there are many more options there.

There are plenty of major chain hotels that are reasonably priced within 10 minutes of the arena.

In addition, the University of Madison is located approximately 15 minutes to the southeast of the arena. So expect to find plenty of college bars and restaurants in the area.

Fans 3

The average crowd for a game is about 2,000 for the past few years. Like any other game in this level there are many parents with kids. Of course, there are your diehards who are invested in the game. The Capitols definitely appeals to a family crowd however there some promotional nights that are for the adults, i.e., $1 beer night, wine night. On the night I was there the crowd was kinda dead, there didn’t seem to be a lot of excitement.

Access 5

The arena is not far off of Route 12 and Route 14 located in an industrial park area. There is plenty of parking at the arena and the surrounding streets. Once inside, one doesn’t have to look too far to find the main rink where the team plays. There are bathrooms inside the arena and also in the lobby. Also, plenty of staff members can be found to answer any questions that may be on your mind.

Public transportation is not available to the arena, however Uber and Lyft are readily available

Return on Investment 3

Capitols games have three regular price points for tickets: $15, $17, and $19. These are pretty much average prices within the USHL. In addition, All-You-Can-Eat and Drink tickets for kids ($25.25), adults ($36.50(non-alcohol) and $41.50 (alcohol) is available. The concession stands are reasonable as is the team merchandise and the parking is free.


Extras 2

The arena receives an extra point for the Beef Stick.

The Capitols get an extra point because the night I was there the Capitols had military themed specialty jerseys with the names of platoons on the back instead of players names. I have not seen this before.

Final Thoughts

Being close to the University of Wisconsin and they love their hockey there, this is an arena / game that is a good alternative to collegiate hockey. The arena has a nice atmosphere, friendly fans and affordable pricing especially when you can come out and the stars of tomorrow.

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