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|Address||1000 Chopper Circle|
at Pepsi Center/Elitch Gardens
|Owner||Kroenke Sports & Entertainment|
|Operator||Kroenke Sports & Entertainment|
|Capacity||Basketball: 19,099 (2017–present)|
Hockey / Lacrosse: 17,809 (2017–present)
Arena Football: 17,417
Special events: 21,000
|Field size||975,000 sq ft (90,600 m2)|
|Broke ground||November 20, 1997|
|Opened||October 1, 1999|
|Construction cost||US$187 million|
($287 million in 2019 dollars)
|Architect||Populous (then HOK Sport) |
|Project manager||ICON Venue Group|
|Structural engineer||Thornton Tomasetti|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||M.A. Mortenson Company|
|Denver Nuggets (NBA) (1999–present)|
Colorado Avalanche (NHL) (1999–present)
Colorado Mammoth (NLL) (2003–present)
Colorado Crush (AFL) (2003–2008)
Pepsi Center is a multi-purpose arena located in Denver, Colorado, USA. The arena is home to the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). When not in use by one of Denver's sports teams, the building frequently serves as a concert venue.
The arena is named for its chief corporate sponsor, PepsiCo. Since April 2020, the arena's parking lot has served as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing center in cooperation with the City and County of Denver.
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 Empower 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. Also included in the complex are a basketball practice facility used by the Nuggets, and the Breckenridge Brewery Mountain House, 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 Empower 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 (which it purchased in 1999, five years after the arrival of the Avalanche): the now-closed Colisée Pepsi.
Pepsi Center hosted the 2001 NHL All-Star Game, the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, and the 2005 NBA All-Star Game. From 2004 to 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 to July 10. The Dew Action Sports returned to Denver for its second year in 2006 during July 13–16.
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, 2011, and 2016. In 2012, the NCAA Women's basketball Final Four was held here.
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.
After a short lived race at the Civic Center in the early 1990's, the Champ Car World Series ran an annual street circuit race around the Pepsi Center, the Grand Prix of Denver. The race was discontinued after the 2006 event.
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. Roughly 12 miles (19 km) of optical fiber cables were installed for the massive communication needs of the convention.
The UFC has hosted four events at the arena.
|UFC 135||Saturday September 24, 2011|
|UFC 150||Saturday August 11, 2012|
|UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña||Saturday January 28, 2017|
|UFC Fight Night: Korean Zombie vs. Rodríguez||Saturday November 10, 2018|
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 by 48 feet (8.2 m × 14.6 m) long, while the two end faces measure 21 by 25 feet (6.4 m × 7.6 m) wide.
On August 15, 2008, World Wrestling Entertainment booked a live episode of the USA Network series WWE Raw for Memorial Day, May 25, 2009, to originate at Pepsi Center. However, Stan Kroenke, who owns both the Pepsi Center and the Nuggets, 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 his team's 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."
For Raw, Ticketmaster refused to refund their controversial convenience fee, thereby only giving fans a partial refund. The fee, however, is strictly charged by Ticketmaster alone and not WWE or KSE.
On May 20, 2009, it was announced that the Raw event originally scheduled for Pepsi Center would be moved to the Staples Center in Los Angeles (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 served as the basis for the main event of the May 25 episode of Raw, where the face team wearing Lakers jerseys (John Cena, Batista, Jerry Lawler, MVP, and Mr. Kennedy) defeated the heel team wearing Nuggets jerseys (Randy Orton, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and the Big Show) in a 5-on-5 tag team match.
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