The Kohl Center, opened in 1998, is the home for the UW Men's, and Women's Basketball teams, and the Men's Hockey Team. Since opening, the building has met with much success. Areas specific to the UW programs were designed by the Wisconsin coaches with the programs in mind. From computers to lounge areas to audio/video systems, the Kohl Center provides a competitive floor, practice and study areas all in one place. The coaching offices are also located at the Kohl Center.
The building is named for U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin), a 1956 graduate of the UW-Madison, who donated $25 million to the project. Kohl's gift is the single largest private donation in University history. Former All-Big Ten basketball player Albert "Ab" Nicholas and his wife, Nancy Johnson Nicholas, pledged $10 million toward the project. The facility's practice gymnasium is named the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion and Plaza. In addition, the Kellner family, Jack F. and his sons, Ted and Jack W. of Milwaukee gave $2.5 million. All three Kellners received degrees from the University of Wisconsin Madison.
The Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion houses three full-size basketball courts to be used for practice sessions when the Kohl Center is booked for other events. Pre-game booster club functions are also scheduled in the practice gym.