Pepsi Center

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This article is about the venue in Denver. For the arena in Newfoundland and Labrador, see Pepsi Centre. For other arenas to which Pepsi owns naming rights, see Pepsi Arena (disambiguation).
Pepsi Center
The Can
Pepsi Center Logo.svg
Denver Pepsi Center 1.jpg
Location 1000 Chopper Circle
Denver, Colorado 80204
Coordinates 39°44′55″N 105°0′27″W / 39.74861°N 105.00750°W / 39.74861; -105.00750Coordinates: 39°44′55″N 105°0′27″W / 39.74861°N 105.00750°W / 39.74861; -105.00750
Public transit Pepsi Center/Elitch Gardens
Owner Kroenke Sports Enterprises
Operator Kroenke Sports Enterprises
Capacity Basketball: 19,155[1]
Hockey / Lacrosse: 18,007[1]
Arena Football: 17,417[1]
Concerts: 20,000+[1]
Special events: 21,000[1]
Field size 675,000 square feet (62,700 m2)
Surface Multi-Surface
Construction
Broke ground November 20, 1997
Opened October 1, 1999[7]
Construction cost $187 million
($265 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect HOK Sport (Populous since 2009)[3]
Project manager ICON Venue Group[4]
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[5]
General contractor M.A. Mortenson Company[6]
Tenants
Denver Nuggets (NBA) (1999–present)
Colorado Avalanche (NHL) (1999–present)
Colorado Mammoth (NLL) (2003–present)
Colorado Crush (AFL) (2003–2008)
Democratic National Convention (2008)
MWC Conference Tournament (2004–2006)
Website
www.pepsicenter.com

Pepsi Center (aka The Can) is a multi-purpose arena in Denver, Colorado, United States. The building is home to the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association, the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League, and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League. When not in use by one of Denver's sports teams, the building frequently serves as a concert venue.[7]

The arena is named for its chief corporate sponsor, PepsiCo.[8]

Construction[edit]

Pepsi Center was constructed as part of a large six-year sporting venue upgrade in Denver along with Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, and Sports Authority Field at Mile High (formerly Invesco Field at Mile High), home of the Denver Broncos. The complex was constructed to be readily accessible. The arena is situated at Speer Boulevard, a main thoroughfare in downtown Denver, and is served by 2 nearby exits off Interstate 25. A light rail station is on the western side of the complex.

Ground was broken for the arena on November 20, 1997, on the 4.6-acre (19,000 m2) site. Its completion in October 1999 was marked by a Celine Dion concert.[1] Also included in the complex are a basketball practice facility used by the Nuggets, and the Blue Sky Grill, a restaurant accessible from within and outside the Center itself. The atrium of the building houses a suspended sculpture depicting various hockey and basketball athletes in action poses.

Before the construction of Pepsi Center, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche played in McNichols Sports Arena, a building that has since been torn down to serve as a parking lot for nearby Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Coincidentally, prior to the Avalanche relocating to Denver, the then-Quebec Nordiques played at another arena to which Pepsi owned naming rights: the Colisée Pepsi.

Activity[edit]

Original Pepsi Center logo (1999-2009).
Pepsi Center's interior during the 2008 Frozen Four hockey tournament, with the scoreboard used from 1999 to 2013.

Pepsi Center hosted the 2001 NHL All-Star Game, the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, and the 2005 NBA All-Star Game. From 2004–2006, the center hosted the Mountain West Conference men's basketball tournament. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's ice hockey Frozen Four West Regional was hosted on March 24 and March 25, 2007. The Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver was held in the parking lot from 2002 to 2006. In 2004, Denver, Colorado was selected as one of five cities in the U.S. to host the Dew Action Sports Tour, a new extreme sports franchise that began in 2005. Titled the Right Guard Open, the inaugural event was held at Pepsi Center from July 6–10. The Dew Action Sports returned to Denver for its second year in 2006 during July 13–16. During the week of July 2–8, 2007, the arena hosted the International Convention and Contests of the Barbershop Harmony Society, a men's singing organization.

The NCAA Men's ice hockey Frozen Four tournament was held at the arena on April 10 and April 12, 2008. Pepsi Center also hosted games of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in 2004, 2008 and 2011. In 2012, the NCAA Women's basketball Final Four was held here.

The arena also hosted the 2008 Democratic National Convention, although the party's presidential nominee, then-Senator Barack Obama, made his acceptance speech at the nearby INVESCO Field at Mile High. To prepare for the convention, Pepsi Center underwent large scale projects including electrical power increases and the installation of new transformers by Xcel Energy (which is the namesake of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, which hosted the 2008 Republican National Convention the following week) and telecommunications wiring by Qwest. A backup generator was installed that has the capacity to power the entire city of Pueblo, Colorado. Roughly 12 miles (19 km) of optical fiber cables were installed for the massive communication needs of the convention.

In 2011 and 2012, it played host to a UFC event.

Event Date
UFC 135 Saturday September 24, 2011
UFC 150 Saturday August 11, 2012

Prior to the 2013-14 season, the octagonal scoreboard that was in use since the arena's opening was replaced with a new four-sided rectangular scoreboard. The two center faces measure 27 feet (8.2 m) high by 48 feet (15 m) long, while the two end faces measure 21 feet (6.4 m) high by 25 feet (7.6 m) wide.

Double-booking controversy[edit]

The main entrance to the arena as it looked during the third day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

On August 15, 2008, World Wrestling Entertainment booked an internationally televised event, WWE Raw, to take place at Pepsi Center on Monday, May 25, 2009. However, Denver Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke arranged a verbal agreement to book Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers on the same date prior to the Nuggets actually earning a slot in the playoffs. Though a contract existed to hold the venue for the WWE event and only a verbal agreement granted the Nuggets the venue, Kroenke stood firm that the Nuggets game would take precedence.

WWE chairman Vince McMahon said, "Even though the Denver Nuggets had a strong team this year and were projected to make the playoffs, obviously Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke did not have enough faith in his own team to hold the May 25 date for a potential playoff game."[9]

For the WWE event, Ticketmaster refused to refund their processing fee, thereby only giving fans a partial refund.[10] The fee, however, is strictly charged by Ticketmaster alone and not WWE or KSE. On May 20, 2009, it was announced that the WWE event scheduled for Pepsi Center would be moved to Staples Center in Los Angeles, California (home of the Nuggets' Western Conference Finals opponent), and return to the Denver area for a non-televised event at the Denver Coliseum on August 7, 2009, with refunds for the original date made available at points of purchase.

The double-booking controversy was parlayed into a main-event match during the May 25 edition of Raw at Staples Center. In the match, the face team wearing Lakers jerseys (Batista, Montel Vontavious Porter, John Cena, Jerry Lawler & Mr. Kennedy) defeated the heel team wearing Nuggets jerseys (The Miz, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & The Big Show) in a 10-man tag team match.[11][not in citation given]

On July 9, 2012, after more than three years, Monday Night Raw returned to Pepsi Center.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Arena Facts". Kroenke Sports Enterprises. Retrieved May 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ Pepsi Center architect: Populous
  4. ^ "Pepsi Center". ICON Venue Group. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Professional Arenas". M-E Engineers, Inc. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Pepsi Center". Ballparks.com. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Pepsi Center in Denver, CO". AOL City Guide. Retrieved August 22, 2008.  "...Affectionately referred to as "The Can" by some..."
  8. ^ "About KSE". Kroenke Sports Enterprises. Retrieved June 19, 2007. 
  9. ^ "WWE vs. Denver Nuggets". WWE. May 18, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2009. 
  10. ^ Hochman, Benjamin (May 19, 2009). "Game 4 on Monday Bumps WWE Event from Pepsi Center". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ Vuong, Andy (May 20, 2009). "Bounced by Nuggets, Wrestling Event Moves to LA". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]