“Madhouse On Madison” Sign Taken Down Inside United Center

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Updated: August 7, 2013
Madhouse On Madison

When fans arrive to the United Center for the Blackhawks Training Camp on September 16th they can expect one major change in décor at the UC. The famed “Madhouse On Madison” sign that rests above the 300-seating level has been removed. Susan Goodenow, Bulls vice president of branding and communications, stated that the goal is to improve the fan experience inside the UC by including more LED-signage in its place which will boost event entertainment and the messaging system both the Bulls and Blackhawks use during games. Goodenow says that removing the signs was already planned to take place to improve the fans experience just as the renovations back in 2009 did when the 300-level was revamped. It is unclear if the “Welcome To The Madhouse” sign has been removed as well.

Both signs are a tribute to the old Chicago Stadium that was lovingly dubbed the Madhouse because of the intense noise level made inside the arena by fans and pipe organ alike. In 1994 the Stadium was demolished and a shiny new replacement was erected in its place across the street that same year, the United Center. With an NHL lockout unfolding it was on the Bulls that began their 94-95 campaign to keep the Madhouse alive. And they did.

To kick off the 2009-10 seasons of both teams, the United Center had renovations conducted in the 300-seating level which included a refurbished concourse with 144 flat screen TVs, food and beverage stations and bars and most importantly two new bright red signs that lit up for each basketball and hockey game, “Welcome To The Madhouse” on the east side and a matching “Madhouse On Madison” on the west.

Because the Bulls and Blackhawks operate jointly in the United Center the alteration was agreed upon by both parties. It is disappointing that from now on instead of looking up to see a sign that embodies what the UC is and where it came from, I’ll see a moving screen selling Bud Light. Instead of perhaps bringing cousins and friends from out of town to see my favorite team light up the lamp, point to the 300’s and say “We made it!”, we’ll constantly be reminded of when Justin Bieber will be stopping by the United Center for his “Super Swaggie” tour.

Although the signs were only 4 years old, they meant something to every die-hard and kill-for fan in this city. What would happen if the Cubs took down the light up  “Chicago Cubs” sign that welcomes all the bleacher guests? Or the White Sox’s removing those colorful swirly things atop their scoreboard? The point is that this is upsetting to some, a change that will be missed by many. But now when someone asks for proof of why it’s called the Madhouse, Blackhawk and Bulls fans will compensate with an even louder roar. Goodenow made known that the Madhouse signage has been stored securely so it can be preserved for future projects.

In other Blackhawk news, left winger Bryan Bickell has finally married longtime girlfriend Amanda Caskenette and Andrew Shaw will be auctioning off his Game 6 stitches for breast cancer research. That’s right. Shaw’s blood crusted stitches can be your for the right price and a great cause

Credit to Emma for the photo!

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