Times Union Center

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Times Union Center
TUCenterlogo.jpg
Times Union Center 2011.jpg
Former names Knickerbocker Arena (1990–1997)
Pepsi Arena (1997–2007)
Location 51 South Pearl Street
Albany, NY 12207
Coordinates 42°38′55″N 73°45′17″W / 42.64861°N 73.75472°W / 42.64861; -73.75472Coordinates: 42°38′55″N 73°45′17″W / 42.64861°N 73.75472°W / 42.64861; -73.75472
Owner Albany County
Operator SMG
Capacity 15,357 (concerts)
15,229 (basketball)
14,236 (hockey)
13,785 (arena football)
17,500 (max)
Surface Multi-surface
Construction
Broke ground February 5, 1987
Opened January 30, 1990
Construction cost $69.4 million
($125 million in 2014 dollars[1])
$1.6 million (2010 renovation) ($1.73 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Crozier Associates
Structural engineer Clough Harbour & Associates
General contractor Beltrone/MLB
Tenants
Albany Firebirds (AFL) (1990–2000)
New York Kick (NPSL) (1990–1991)
Albany Choppers (IHL) (1990–1991)
Albany River Rats (AHL) (1993–2010)
Siena Saints (MAAC) (1997–present)
Albany Attack (NLL) (2000–2003)
Albany Conquest/Firebirds (af2) (2002-2009)
Albany Devils (AHL) (2010-present)

The Times Union Center (originally Knickerbocker Arena) is an indoor arena, located in Albany, New York, that can fit from 6,000-17,500 people, with a maximum seating capacity of 15,500, for sporting events.

The building, designed by Crozier Associates, engineered by Clough Harbour & Associates and built by Beltrone/MLB at a cost of $69.4 million.

The arena also has 25 luxury suites, each having 16 seats, cable television, private bathroom, and private refrigerator, and are located at the top of the inner bowl. Suites are rented on a three-year lease basis (suites are currently sold out).

History[edit]

The arena was opened on January 30, 1990 as the Knickerbocker Arena, with a performance by Frank Sinatra.[2]

The naming rights of the arena were sold to Pepsi in 1997 and it was known as Pepsi Arena from 1997-2006.

In May 2006, the naming rights were sold to the Times Union, a regional newspaper, and the name of the arena became the Times Union Center on January 1, 2007.

The building is managed by SMG.

It is within walking distance from the city's Greyhound bus station, as well as being close to hotels, bars and restaurants.

Current tenants include Siena College's men's basketball team and the Albany Devils, of the AHL.

Previous tenants have included the Albany Firebirds (formerly Albany Conquest) of af2, the Albany Firebirds of the AFL, the Albany Patroons of the CBA, the Albany Choppers of the IHL, the Albany River Rats of the AHL, the Albany Attack of the NLL and the New York Kick of the NPSL II.

The University at Albany has used the facility for past games against Syracuse University and has been approached to use the facility for some dates in the future in the wake of their participation in the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

The Times Union Center also regularly hosts exhibition games of major sports leagues.

The NBA, WNBA and NHL have all played games at the arena.

With the New Jersey Devils' AHL franchise relocating to this arena in the summer of 2010, the arena received a new scoreboard, LED ribbons above the luxury suites and new outside lighting, as well as an upgraded home team locker room.[3]

AHL hockey[edit]

The Times Union Center has been home to the American Hockey League since 1993, when the Albany River Rats became the building's primary tenant. The River Rats won the Calder Cup championship in 1994-95.

On April 24, 2008, the longest game in the history of the American Hockey League took place at the Times Union Center. Ryan Potulny scored the winning goal for the Philadelphia Phantoms at 2:58 of the fifth overtime period after 142 minutes and 58 seconds of hockey, played over 5 hours and 38 minutes. In the process, River Rats goaltender Michael Leighton set a modern-day record by making 98 saves.[4]

Following the River Rats' relocation to Charlotte, N.C., in 2010, the Albany Devils began play in the AHL.

College sports[edit]

The Times Union Center hosted the ECAC Hockey championships each March from 2003 until 2010, when the league announced the tournament would be moved to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and is often home to the annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament (1990–96, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008–10).

The Times Union Center's atrium

In 2003, the Times Union Center hosted the NCAA basketball East Regional, which was won by Syracuse University on their way to their first national championship. The arena also hosted the first and second rounds of the 1995 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament as the Knickerbocker Arena.

In 2008, the Times Union Center hosted the NCAA ice hockey East Regional tournament. The arena has hosted ice-hockey regionals in even-numbered years since 2004 and hosted again in 2010, which was the eighth time the East Regional has been held at the site.[5]

In 2000, the Times Union Center hosted a regional quarterfinal between St. Lawrence University and Boston University, which went into quadruple overtime; becoming the longest game in the history of the tournament and the second longest game in Division I men's college hockey history (it is currently the third longest game).

The Times Union Center also hosted the Frozen Four on two occasions, in 1992 (as Knickerbocker Arena) when Lake Superior State University defeated Wisconsin for the national championship, and again in 2001 as the Pepsi Arena when Boston College defeated North Dakota.

The venue is set to host the NCAA women's basketball tournament from March 28-31, 2015 and NCAA hockey East Regional for the ninth time from March 25-27, 2016.[6]

High school sports[edit]

The Times Union Center has been a regular host of the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships since 2005 and has won a bid to host the annual event each year through 2016.[7] According to the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the wrestling state tournament annually contributes more than $1.5 million into the Capital Region economy, and in 2011 it was the second-largest sporting event in Albany County.[8]

Music[edit]

The Times Union Center and its parking garage, as viewed from the Empire State Plaza. The 1997-2006 Pepsi Arena signage is visible in this photo.
View of the TU Center from Pearl Street

Since its opening show, starring Frank Sinatra on January 30, 1990,[9] the Times Union Center has become a popular concert venue, due to its proximity to larger cities like New York, Boston, and Montreal, where concert tickets tend to sell out faster.

The open parking lots near the arena provide an excellent tailgating area for fans before the show.

In 1990, The Grateful Dead recorded their 1996 release, Dozin' at the Knick, at the arena.

Whitesnake played at the arena during their Slip Of The Tongue world tour in 1990. The concert took place February 15, and there were a lot of empty seats due to a blizzard keeping many fans from getting to the arena.

Notable capacity sellouts[edit]

Professional wrestling[edit]

The Arena has held numerous professional wrestling events and moments. Promotions such as the World Wrestling Federation has visited the arena quite often. From 1990-1998 189,833 WWF fans have walked through the Times Union Center doors. Three superstars won their first WWF Championship in this arena. 1992's Royal Rumble took place here, with an attendance of 16,307. The event is considered one of the most notable events in WWF History as Ric Flair went for almost an hour to win the Rumble, and claim the WWF Championship for the first time.

In 1999 the then Pepsi Arena, Stone Cold Steve Austin had a beer truck driven down the ramp to the ring and sprayed Vince McMahon, The Rock, and Shane McMahon with beer. Later that year, on an episode of SmackDown!, the first ever tag team Buried Alive match took place between The Rock and Mankind vs. The Big Show and The Undertaker.

In 2000, the Pepsi Arena hosted the World Wrestling Federation's No Mercy, notable for the return of Steve Austin to active competition after being injured at the hands of Rikishi. This show also featured Kurt Angle winning the WWF Championship for the first time, defeating the Rock. The show was also sold-out with an attendance of 14,342

In 2002, the newly renamed World Wrestling Entertainment hosted the Tour of Defiance and in 2003 the WWE recorded a historic episode of SmackDown when the Undertaker took on the Big Show and Brock Lesnar in a handicap match. Also featured the return of Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi).

Edge also won his first WWE Championship in January 2006, when it hosted New Year's Revolution after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on John Cena. The attendance was 11,000.

On August 28, 2007 the Times Union Center held the first live televised ECW on Sci Fi accompanied by the first WWE SmackDown taping after WWE Summerslam 2007. The SmackDown taping featured the return of Rey Mysterio to SmackDown after a knee injury. WWE Smackdown also had a double taping, on November 25, 2008 where it featured The Undertaker facing The Big Show in a Steel Cage match.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling held their first live event at the arena on September 7, 2008.

On September 28, 2009, WWE Monday Night Raw was held there with guest host, Al Sharpton. The show returned again on December 27, 2010 at the Times Union Center.

On April 12, 2011, WWE Friday Night SmackDown was once again held at the Times Union Center just one week after WrestleMania XXVII. It is also here where Edge vacated his World Heavyweight title, the day after he announced on WWE Monday Night Raw that he is forced to retire due to a career threatening injury.

Other events[edit]

The PBR hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at the arena in January 2008.

In the Center's only tennis event, Andre Agassi played John McEnroe just three days after Agassi won the U.S. Open in 1994.

The New York State Democratic Convention nominated First Lady Hillary Clinton as the U.S. Senate candidate at their statewide convention at Times Union Center on May 16, 2000. Her husband, former President of the United States Bill Clinton, attended the event.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ DeMare, Carol (May 5, 2006). "Times Union Enters a New Arena". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ Dougherty, Pete (October 9, 2010). "Devils Era Begins at Refurbished Times Union Center". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ McGuire, Mark (April 25, 2008). "The Greatest Game?". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Dougherty, Pete (March 21, 2010). "Denver, Cornell, New Hampshire, RIT in Albany Regional". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ Singelais, Mark (December 12, 2013). "NCAA Again Calls on Albany". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "History". New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ Allen, James (October 28, 2011). "State Wrestling Tournament Will Stay in Albany Through 2016". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ DeMare, Carol (January 31, 2010). "20 Years in Albany's Arena". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ Barnes, Steve (6 July 2014). "Paul McCartney rocks Albany". Albany Times Union. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Paul McCartney: The Jew-ish Beatle?". JBiz Tech Valley. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Houston Field House (as Capital District Islanders)
Home of the
Albany River Rats

1993 – 2010
Succeeded by
Time Warner Cable Arena (as Charlotte Checkers)
Preceded by
Saint Paul Civic Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Host of the
Frozen Four

1992
Succeeded by
Bradley Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Preceded by
Providence Civic Center
Providence, Rhode Island
Host of the
Frozen Four

2001
Succeeded by
Xcel Energy Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Preceded by
Tsongas Center (as Lowell Devils)
Home of the
Albany Devils

2010-present
Succeeded by
current arena