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Ball Arena

Coordinates: 39°44′55″N 105°0′27″W / 39.74861°N 105.00750°W / 39.74861; -105.00750
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Ball Arena
Ball Arena in 2022
Ball Arena is located in Colorado
Ball Arena
Ball Arena
Location within Colorado
Ball Arena is located in the United States
Ball Arena
Ball Arena
Location within the United States
Former namesPepsi Center (1999–2020)
Address1000 Chopper Circle
LocationDenver, Colorado
Coordinates39°44′55″N 105°0′27″W / 39.74861°N 105.00750°W / 39.74861; -105.00750
Public transitRTD:
Tram interchange  E   W 
at Ball Arena–Elitch Gardens station
OwnerKroenke Sports and Entertainment
Detailed capacity
  • Basketball:
  • 19,520 (2017–present)[2]
  • 19,718 (2016–17)[3]
  • 19,155 (2006–16)[4]
  • 19,099 (1999–2006)
  • Hockey: 17,809 (2017–present)[5]
  • Lacrosse:17,809 (2017–present)[5]
  • Arena Football: 17,417[4]
  • Concerts: 20,000[4]
  • Special events: 21,000[4]
Field size675,000 sq ft (62,700 m2)
Broke groundNovember 20, 1997[6]
OpenedOctober 1, 1999[6]
Construction costUS$187 million
(US$355 million in 2023 dollars[7])
ArchitectHOK Sport[8]
Project managerICON Venue Group[9]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerM-E Engineers[10]
General contractorMortenson Construction[11]
Colorado Avalanche (NHL) (1999–present)
Denver Nuggets (NBA) (1999–present)
Colorado Mammoth (NLL) (2003–present)
Colorado Crush (AFL) (2003–2008)

Ball Arena (formerly known as Pepsi Center) is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Denver, Colorado. It is situated at Speer Boulevard, a main thoroughfare in downtown Denver, and is served by two nearby exits off Interstate 25. A light rail station is on the western side of the complex. Opened in 1999, it is the home arena of 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).


Original Pepsi Center logo (1999–2009)

The arena replaced McNichols Sports Arena as the home of the Avalanche and Nuggets. Groundbreaking for the arena on the 4.6-acre (19,000 m2) site was held on November 20, 1997 before reaching completion and opening in October 1999.[4] Also included in the complex are a basketball practice facility used by the Nuggets, and the Breckenridge Brewery Mountain House[12], 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.[citation needed]

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.[13]

From its opening through 2020, the naming rights to the arena were held by PepsiCo, under which it was known as Pepsi Center. On October 22, 2020, the naming rights were sold to Broomfield-based Ball Corporation as part of a global multi-year agreement with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), which also makes it the exclusive "sustainability partner" of the arena. As part of the agreement, all KSE-owned sports teams and venues will employ recyclable aluminum products provided by Ball to reduce plastic waste, with Ball Arena to transition to serving concessions in aluminum packaging by 2022.[14][15]


The inside of Ball Arena during a Colorado Avalanche game in 2023


The arena hosted the 2001 NHL All-Star Game, plus two Stanley Cup Finals series in 2001 and 2022. The Avalanche won both times, the first at home and the second in Tampa. In 2007, the west regionals of the NCAA Division I hockey tournament were held at the arena, hosted by the University of Denver. The following year, it hosted the Frozen Four round of the 2008 tournament.


Ball Arena hosted the 2005 NBA All-Star Game, and hosted three games of the 2023 NBA Finals. The Nuggets won the 2023 NBA championship at home in Game 5 on June 12 of that year, the first title in franchise history, ending a 47–year drought. The arena has hosted games of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament in 2004, 2008, 2011, 2016, and 2023. In 2012, the NCAA Women's Final Four was played at the arena, hosted by the Mountain West Conference.[16]

From 2004 to 2006, the arena hosted the Mountain West's men's conference tournament.

Mixed martial arts[edit]

UFC held its first event at the arena, UFC 135, on September 24, 2011.[17] It also hosted UFC 150 the following August.

Professional wrestling[edit]

The arena has hosted various WWE (and in the past, WCW) television broadcasts.

The "Denver Debacle"[edit]

The then-named Pepsi Center's interior during the 2008 Frozen Four hockey tournament, with the scoreboard used from 1999 to 2013.

On May 18, 2009, WWE cancelled and moved three events it had scheduled in Colorado, including a WWE Raw taping on May 25, 2009 at Pepsi Center, after the Denver Nuggets were scheduled to play Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on the same date. The affected events were all moved to the Lakers' home arena of Staples Center, while WWE rescheduled an August 7 taping of Raw for Pepsi Center.[18][19]

In an appearance on KUSA, WWE chairman Vince McMahon accused the "inept management" of team and arena owner Stan Kroenke as having led to the conflict. A KSE spokesperson stated that "despite the propaganda campaign launched by WWE and Chairman Vince McMahon, the KSE team maintained a professional manner throughout this process. We had hoped for, and worked hard toward an amicable resolution - which we verbally had on Tuesday."[20]

The conflict would be referenced during the ensuing May 25 Raw, which opened with a skit between impersonators of Kroenke and Lakers owner Jerry Buss. "Kroenke" boasted about the Nuggets and his indifference to WWE and its fans. Mr. McMahon subsequently entered the ring, jokingly proposed the formation of his own basketball league, the XBA (a reference to his ill-fated XFL), and shoved "Kroenke" down — threatening that people who "push" WWE's fans would get "pushed back". In the main event, a 5-on-5 tag team match was held, where a face team wearing Lakers jerseys (John Cena, Batista, Jerry Lawler, MVP, and Mr. Kennedy) defeated a heel team wearing Nuggets jerseys (Randy Orton, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and Big Show).[21][22]

Other events[edit]

Ball Arena has hosted a wide array of music concerts and other events since opening in 1999. Celine Dion performed a sold-out show at the venue - the first event of any kind at the location, on October 1, 1999. Celine dedicated the show to the Columbine community following the school shooting that occurred less than six months prior.[23] Since then, artists such as Lady Gaga,[24] Katy Perry,[25] Coldplay,[26] Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas,[27] Christina Aguilera,[28] Britney Spears,[29] Taylor Swift,[30] Imagine Dragons,[31] Pink,[32] NSYNC,[33] Shania Twain,[34] Cher,[35] KISS,[36] Justin Timberlake,[37] Elton John,[38] and Madonna[39] have held concerts at the arena.

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 Denver Civic Center in the early 1990s, the Champ Car World Series ran an annual street circuit race around Pepsi Center, the Grand Prix of Denver. The race was discontinued after the 2006 event.

The majority of the 2008 Democratic National Convention was held at the arena, culminating with the official nomination of then-Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic Party's candidate for the 2008 presidential election. However, the closing night of the convention, including Obama's acceptance speech, was instead held at Invesco Field at Mile High.[40]

Madonna's concert on October 18, 2012 as part of her MDNA Tour (2012) drew controversy and complaints from critics and fans alike. Not only was the show reported to have started three hours late, but it also used fake guns during a violence-inspired performance of her tracks "Revolver" and "Gang Bang". The performance took place less than three months after a mass shooting at a movie theatre in nearby Aurora, Colorado, driving feelings that its inclusion was insensitive and in poor taste.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PEPSI CENTER UNVEILS 'INFINITELY RECYCLABLE' CUPS". TheStadiumBusiness. October 17, 2019. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  2. ^ "Coaches and Staff". THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE COLORADO AVALANCHE. October 2017. Archived from the original on September 22, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Nuggets Staff Directory". NBA. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. October 2014. Archived from the original on October 15, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Arena Facts". Pepsi Center Official Website. May 2009. Archived from the original on July 5, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2009.
  5. ^ a b McNicholas, Brendan; Bernstein, Danielle (January 2019). "Executive Staff" (PDF). 2017-2018 Colorado Avalanche Media Guide. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment: 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2021 – via NHL.
  6. ^ a b Wiley, Matt (February 1, 2017). "Groundbreaking at Pepsi Center was 20 years ago. Here are our top sports moments". The Gazette. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  7. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  8. ^ "Pepsi Center". Populous. June 2009. Archived from the original on December 21, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  9. ^ "Pepsi Center". ICON Venue Group. September 2009. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  10. ^ "Pepsi Center". M-E Engineers, Inc. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Pepsi Center". Arenas by Munsey & Suppes. November 2004. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  12. ^ "Breckenridge Brewery Mountain House | Pepsi Center". Pepsicenter.com.
  13. ^ "Pepsi Center gets digital overhaul". Mile High Hockey. July 11, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  14. ^ "LA Rams, Denver Nuggets and Arsenal all included in Ball Corporation's KSE partnership". SportsPro Media. October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "After 21 years, Pepsi Center to be renamed Ball Arena as part of new partnership". The Denver Post. October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Meisler, Natalie (November 14, 2008). "Denver gets 2012 women's Final Four". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  17. ^ "UFC President Dana White: We Always Planned to Come Back to Denver". MMAWeekly.com. July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  18. ^ "WWE event booted from Denver will be at Staples Center". Los Angeles Times. May 21, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  19. ^ "WWE losing Pepsi Center on May 25". ESPN.com. May 18, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  20. ^ "WWE cancels 3 Colo. events over 'Denver Debacle'". KUSA.com. May 20, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  21. ^ "PROWRESTLING.NET 5/25 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Vince McMahon vs. Stan Kroenke impersonator, Ric Flair calls out Randy Orton, 10-man tag with a mystery partner for the babyface team, Maryse vs. Mickie James for the WWE Divas Title". prowrestling.net. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "WWE, McMahon taunt Kroenke on 'Raw'". ESPN.com. May 26, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  23. ^ Hughes, Jim (October 2, 1999). "Dion's concert a tribute". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on March 1, 2024. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  24. ^ Post, Matt Miller | The Denver (August 7, 2014). "Review: Lady Gaga Denver Pepsi Center show". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  25. ^ Harris, Kyle (November 27, 2017). "Katy Perry Roars for Kids and Queers — Mostly in Tune". Westword. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  26. ^ "Coldplay's "Head Full of Dreams" explodes over the Pepsi Center". The Denver Post. August 30, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  27. ^ "Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas grow up — and apart — at Pepsi Center". The Denver Post. August 10, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  28. ^ Hazel, Kori (October 21, 2018). "Review - Mixed Expectations Got The Best Of Christina Aguilera". 303 Magazine. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  29. ^ Patel, Joseph (January 12, 2004). "Kelis Checks Into Britney's Onyx Hotel Tour". MTV. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  30. ^ Dukes, Billy (June 5, 2013). "Taylor Swift Turns Denver's Pepsi Center 'Red' – Exclusive Pictures". Taste of Country. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  31. ^ Smith, Angela (October 20, 2017). "Concert review: Imagine Dragons". Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  32. ^ "Pink Announces New North American Tour Dates". Variety. May 3, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2024.
  33. ^ Moss, Corey (January 30, 2002). "'NSYNC Bringing Smash Mouth, Ginuwine On Tour". MTV. Retrieved March 2, 2024.
  34. ^ "Shania Twain announces Colorado concert on new US tour". KUSA.com. November 1, 2022. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  35. ^ Antonoff, Lauren (November 27, 2019). "It Wasn't the Throwback Songs That Dated Cher's Denver Concert". Westword. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  36. ^ Amon, Joe (September 13, 2019). "PHOTOS: Kiss plays Denver one last time during the band's "final tour ever"". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  37. ^ Cohn, Allison (January 21, 2014). "Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience World Tour Visits the Pepsi Center". 303 Magazine. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  38. ^ Mulson, Jennifer (April 11, 2018). "Elton John adds second show in Colorado". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  39. ^ a b "Madonna Angers Denver Audience By Pretending To Shoot Guns Into Crowd - CBS Colorado". www.cbsnews.com. October 19, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  40. ^ "Obama accepts Democrat nomination". BBC News. BBC. August 29, 2008. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2008.

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