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.



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

Daily Schedules


Due to current University guidance, masks are required at the Nick, regardless of vaccination status.

Hours of Operation


August 30 – December 23
Monday – Thursday 6am – Midnight
Friday 6am – 10pm
Saturday 8am – 10pm
Sunday 8am – Midnight


November 24 – 28
November 24 6am – 6:30pm
November 25 CLOSED
November 26 11am – 6pm
November 27 10am – 6pm
November 28 10am – 10pm


December 17 – 23
December 17 6am – 10pm
December 18 8am – 10pm
December 19 8am – 10pm
December 20 – 22 6am – 10pm
December 23 6am – 6:30pm

View pool hours


December 24 – January 23
Monday – Friday 6am – 8pm
Saturday – Sunday 8am – 8pm


December 24 – 26 CLOSED
December 30 6am – 6:30pm
December 31 – January 2 CLOSED

View pool 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.