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Guinness sobers up numbers for ‘Big Chill'; certifies that 85,451 fans attended event

Dec 14, 2010, 8:00 PM EST

Big Chill - Michigan State v Michigan Getty Images

It’s not often that Guinness plays the role of party poopers.

Yet when it comes to its treasured book of world records, the brewers/fact-keepers are sticklers for the truth over “sweetened” numbers. James Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press reports that while University of Michigan media people reported a crowd of 113,411, the Guinness World Records folks “only” certified 85,451 people.

Despite this discrepancy, Jahnke reports that a crowd of 85,451 is still constitutes a record audience for a hockey game, besting the 77,803 drawn during the IIHF World Championships in Germany last summer.

Fudging the numbers seems like a time-honored attendance tradition, but 27,960 is a pretty “creative bit of accounting.” Jahnke’s story provides at least a little reasoning behind some of the difference.

“We will continue to work with Guinness to identify the exact number of people that went through the scanners and those who had their tickets torn,” said Matt Trevor, assistant media relations director for U-M hockey. “We knew we would end up with two different numbers because of different standards used.”

Trevor said Guinness doesn’t count those who were working the game, including media, staff and concession workers. Michigan does include those people in its attendance figure.

The Cold War between U-M and MSU in 2001 at Spartan Stadium drew 74,554 fans.

While saying you drew 100,000 fans to a hockey game obviously has a special ring to it, it’s still incredible that the “Big Chill” brought in more than 85,000. Ultimately, the rest is just gravy … the Guinness people just seem a bit more judicious in how they weigh it.

  1. jsaq - Dec 14, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    They had 27,000 concession stand workers? No waiting for a beer at that game

    • hockeywithangie - Dec 14, 2010 at 9:22 PM

      Too bad it’s an NCAA game an no beer was served. The 85K seems quite light to me. The stadium was quite full, what I would estimate between 100-105K.

  2. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    The state of Michigan is famous for these incidents. Just like Wrestlemania III.

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