Today the United Center announced that it has removed the "Madhouse On Madison" signs from the 300 level of the home for the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls. LED signs will go in the place of the old Madhouse signage. This is the type of thing that gets a shoulder shrug from me but there are some people who are mad about this. The word "tradition" is being throw around. Really? The tradition of the Madison On Madison ended on April 28, 1994 with a 1-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The United Center has never been the Madhouse, in fact it has been nearly empty for a majority of the time the Hawks have called the building home.
Before you point it out, I have used the term Madhouse here on the site to describe the UC, but nobody called it that until they put the signs up shortly after the Blackhawks returned to the post season. Most of the people who are upset probably never even stepped foot into the Chicago Stadium. When you go to Hawks game these days the arena is filled with fans who weren't even born when the "Old Barn" was in its heyday. Even the loudest National Anthem during the playoffs, at the Untied Center, cannot carry the Stadium's jock when it comes to noise and spirit. The rabid fans at the Chicago Stadium brought the Hawks a true home ice advantage. I can remember being a kid who was absolutely amazed that the building actually shook at times during games. Those feelings have never been recreated in the new building.
The people who are upset about this are probably the same ones who get their underwear in a wad when the idea of changing the name of Wrigley Field comes up. It's just a name , it doesn't matter. When the new arena opened United Airlines signed a 20 year deal for the naming rights. Are these people going to be upset when a company, who has filed for bankruptcy multiple times, can't pony up the millions and millions of dollars to keep the name? If these new LED signs can be used to bring in new revenue that prevents my season ticket to go up yet again, then bring in 1,000 new LED signs.
I don't care if it's called the United Center or the MalortDome. It is not the name that makes a building special, it is the memories and special moments that occur within its walls. Besides the United Center already has the best nickname in all of hockey; the home of the defending Stanley Cup Champions!