Pettit National Ice Center
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 an Official Training Site for US Speedskating the Pettit Center with its speed skating Oval and two international-size hockey rinks has been instrumental in the development of U.S. speed skaters to compete for and win Olympic medals and has been host to regional, national and international competitions, as well as AAA hockey showcases and annual indoor running marathon, both attracting teams and runners from across the nation.
All of the U.S. speed skaters who have participated in the last six Winter Olympics have competed or trained at the Pettit Center. This esteemed group is led by Bonnie Blair Cruikshank (5-time gold medalist), Dan Jansen, Chris Witty, and Shani Davis.
The Pettit National Ice Center is named for Jane Bradley Pettit, whose generous early contributions provided the primary private funding for the construction and initial operation of the Pettit Center.
Today the Center operates on a $2.8 million budget, generating over 90% of its income from its public programming and sponsorships, with the balance from grants and charitable contributions.
The legacy of speed skating in the Milwaukee area, even preceding the outdoor Olympic Oval which opened in the 1960’s, contributed to the passion and determination to build the first enclosed Oval in the United States, culminating with the opening of the Pettit Center on December 31, 1992.
Yet, the Center is sustained by its more than 430,000 visitors annually who embrace the Center as a remarkable community asset for skating, ice hockey, running/walking, convenient meeting space, fitness & recreation, inspiration, and family fun.
Speed Skating Legacy
Milwaukee. the center of US Speed Skating
Even prior to the opening in 1967 of the outdoor Olympic Ice Rink at Wisconsin State Fair Park, Milwaukee has served as the center of speed skating in the United States.
The outdoor Oval helped to raise the profile nationally of speed skating, attract and inspire determined and talented athletes, and eventually led to the construction of the enclosed Oval of Pettit National Ice Center which opened in 1992
Olympic Winter Games
Wisconsin speed skaters have been a strong, impressive contributor to the Olympic effort. At least one speed skater from Wisconsin has been on each winter U.S. Olympic Team since 1932.
A substantial percentage of the U.S. medals won in the Olympic Winter Games are speedskating medals. Plus, an overwhelming majority of those speed skating medals have been won by speed skaters who trained and/or competed at the Pettit Center.
The Pettit Center Today
The Pettit Center serves an essential role for U.S. Speedskating, providing a premiere venue for the training and development for U.S. National team members in both long and short track speed skating, while offering introductory, instructional, and competitive programming for those motivated to pursue Olympic dreams.