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

August 28 – January 21

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

Adjusted Hours

Thanksgiving Weekend | November 22 – November 26

Day of the Week Hours
November 22 6am - 6:30pm
November 23 CLOSED
November 24 CLOSED
November 25 10am - 6pm
November 26 10am - 12am

Final Exam Week | December 15 – December 21

Day of the Week Hours
December 15 6am - 10pm
December 16 8am - 10pm
December 17 (Commencement) 8am - 10pm
December 18 - December 20 6am- 10pm
December 21 6am - 6:30pm

December 22 – January 21

Day of the Week Hours
December 22 - January 14 CLOSED
January 15 - January 19 6am - 8pm
January 20 - January 21 8am - 8pm

January 22 – May 12

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

Adjusted Hours

Date Hours
May 5 8am - 10pm
May 6 - May 9 6am - 10pm
May 10 6am - 8pm
May 12 12pm - 6pm


March 22 – March 31

Date Hours
March 22 6am - 8pm
March 23 - March 24 10am - 8pm
March 25 - March 28 8am - 8pm
March 29 8am - 6:30pm
March 30 - March 31 CLOSED

Check back in April 2024 for summer hours.

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.

The Nick will be closed August 12 – August 20, 2023 for our annual maintenance and deep clean week.

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.

Getting There


  • Lot 94 (5 minute walk): controlled 7:00am – 4:30pm Monday – Friday, Free after 4:30pm & all day Saturday and Sunday. Timed parking stalls may be available.
  • Lot 46- Lake & Johnson Ramp (6 minute walk): located at 301 N. Lake Street. Controlled at all times. No visitor parking availability after 9:00pm, pay at gated exit.
  • Lot 83- Fluno Center Garage (7 minute walk): located at 314 N. Frances Street. Controlled at all times, limited visitor parking availability, pay at gated exit.
  • City of Madison State Street Campus Garage (8 minute walk): located at 430 N Frances Street, 415 N Lake Street. Open and Controlled 24/7, pay at gated exit.
  • Bike and moped stalls are available in front of the Nick.

For more information on campus parking, check out the parking website for maps, restricted parking times, and more.


    • Convenient bus lines include routes A, B, 80, 81, 82, and 84.