A panoramic photo of the lobby area at the Nicholas Recreation Center


When & Where

The Nicholas Recreation Center (Nick) is the first major building project of the Master Plan. The name of the facility honors the late Ab Nicholas, his wife Nancy, and the Nicholas family. It’s home to 30,000 square feet of fitness space, 8 courts, 5 studios, a 50-meter pool and diving well, and more.


Take a virtual tour of the Nick


797 W Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53715
(608) 262 - 8244

Daily Schedules

Hours of Operation

January 23 – May 14

Day of the Week Hours
Monday - Thursday 6am - Midnight
Friday 6am - 10pm
Saturday 8am - 10pm
Sunday 8am - Midnight

Adjusted Hours

Date Hours
May 7 8am - 10pm
May 8 - 11 6am - 10pm
May 12 6am - 8pm
May 13 - 14 Closed

Starting December 8, the women’s locker room will be closed every Thursday from 9 – 9:30am to allow for Facility Services staff to fix and prevent maintenance issues. Individual restrooms & showers will be available.

Check back in April 2023 for updated hours.

Check back in July 2023 for fall hours.

Check back in November 2023 for winter break hours.

Check back in January 2024 for spring break hours.

Live Building Usage

Nick Level 1 Fitness

Nick Level 2 Fitness

Nick Level 3 Fitness

Nick Power House

Nick Track

Nick Courts 1 & 2

Nick Courts 3-6

Nick Courts 7 & 8

Facility Features

SERF  The Nick
Usable square footage 124,000 170,145
Gross square footage 192,170 240,560
Fitness square footage 8,500 30,400
Full-size basketball courts 4 8
Fitness studios/multipurpose studios  1 (4,600 sq. ft.) 5 (12,575 sq. ft.)
Pool short course lanes (maximum) 16 27
Diving well No Yes
Pool spectator seating None 1,000
  • 5 levels of activity space, all with abundant natural light
  • 30,400 square feet dedicated to cardio and strength fitness spaces
  • 8 full size basketball courts for multiple activities, including basketball, volleyball, badminton, futsal, and special events
  • 5 multi-purpose studios to use for group fitness, indoor cycling, small group training programs, sport club practices, and student organizations
  • Functional training sprint ramp leading up to a suspended threelane indoor track measuring one-sixth of a mile
  • More than 300 day-use lockers throughout activity spaces with built-in locks to secure personal belongings and prevent theft
  • Dedicated personal training suite for assessments and private consultations
  • Multiple open areas throughout the facility to allow for stretching, core work, and functional training
  • 2 racquetball courts
  • Dedicated cycle room with theater-style audio, visual, and enhanced lighting
  • 50-meter pool (convertible to two 25-yard pools) featuring 27 total possible short course lanes and 25-yard diving well
  • Future home for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Swimming and Diving teams
  • ADA accessible pool with operable pool floor allowing for zero-depth entry, shallow-water training, and competition lap swimming
  • Private shower stalls in both men’s and women’s locker rooms
  • All-gender and single-use bathrooms and showers
  • Bathrooms on every level of the facility
  • Fully ADA-accessible spaces, providing fitness opportunities for all users
  • Multiple views within the facility of signature landmarks in Madison, including the State Capitol and Lake Mendota

Give to the Nicholas Recreation Center

Make your mark for generations of Badgers to come. The Nick has naming opportunities available. You can learn more here.