Pettit National Ice Center, Inc. is a Wisconsin not-for-profit corporation, exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, that has operated the Pettit National Ice Center, located in the City of Milwaukee, since its construction in 1992.
As a U.S. Olympic Training Site, the Pettit Center has helped many U.S. speed skaters (several from Wisconsin) attain their dreams of winning Olympic medals, and has provided a location for frequent national and international competitions. During 2005, it has been estimated that the World Cup Speed Skating competition and other events at the Pettit Center generated an economic impact for the community of more than $2,500,000. The U.S. National Short Track Championship that year drew competitors, families and fans from 33 states to the Pettit Center. As the only indoor sea-level oval in the U.S. available to our country’s athletes, it is considered “mission critical” when it comes to preparing for the 2014 Olympic Game Sochi, Russia (also a sea level location). All of the U.S. speed skaters who have participated in the last five Winter Olympics have competed or trained at the Pettit Center. That includes the international icons of the sport and hometown heroes – Chris Witty, Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair – as well as high-profile medal winners Apolo Anton Ohno, Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis.
The Pettit Center is named for Jane Bradley Pettit, the late Milwaukee philanthropist, whose generous contributions provided the primary private funding for the construction and initial operation of the Pettit Center.
What is not so widely understood or appreciated is the positive impact of the Pettit Center on the lives of those who will never compete in a national championship or the Olympic Games. That positive influence occurs for each of the Center’s nearly 400,000 annual visitors whenever they utilize the facility to skate recreationally, play hockey, run on the indoor track, view an international event, attend a meeting in our Hall of Fame Room, or just stop by to experience the Olympic spirit present at the Pettit every day. It is arguably what provides the greatest value to this community and our state.