Times Union Center
|Former names||Knickerbocker Arena (1990–1997)|
Pepsi Arena (1997–2006)
|Address||51 South Pearl Street|
|Location||Albany, New York|
13,785 (arena football)
|Broke ground||February 5, 1987|
|Opened||January 30, 1990|
|Construction cost||$69.4 million, $1.6 million (2010 renovation)|
|Structural engineer||Clough Harbour & Associates|
|Albany Firebirds (AFL) (1990–2000)|
New York Kick (NPSL) (1990–1991)
Albany Choppers (IHL) (1990–1991)
Albany Patroons (CBA) (1990–1993)
Siena Saints (NCAA) (1990–present)
Albany River Rats (AHL) (1993–2010)
Albany Attack (NLL) (2000–2003)
Albany Conquest/Firebirds (af2) (2002–2009)
Albany Devils (AHL) (2010–2017)
Albany Empire (AFL) (2018–present)
The Times Union Center (originally Knickerbocker Arena, then Pepsi Arena) is an indoor arena located in Albany, New York. It is configurable and can accommodate from 6,000 to 17,500 people, with a maximum seating capacity of 15,500 for sporting events.
The building, designed by Crozier Associates and engineered by Clough Harbour & Associates, was built by Beltrone/MLB at a cost of $69.4 million.
The arena also has 25 luxury suites; each has sixteen seats, cable television, a refrigerator, and a private bathroom. They are located at the top of the inner bowl. All suites are rented on three-year terms; all are currently sold out.
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. The arena is also one of the largest in the United States for the size of the city it is located in.
When the New Jersey Devils' AHL franchise relocated 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.
Previous tenants have included the Albany Firebirds (formerly Albany Conquest) of af2, the original 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 Times Union Center was home to the American Hockey League from 1993, when the Albany River Rats became the building's primary tenant until 2017. The River Rats won the Calder Cup championship in 1994–95.
On April 24, 2008, one of the longest games 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.
Following the River Rats' relocation to Charlotte, N.C., in 2010, the Albany Devils began play in the AHL.
It was announced on January 31, 2017, that the Devils would relocate to Binghamton following the completion of the 2016–17 season ending 24 years of AHL hockey in the arena. At the time of the relocation, the Devils were drawing the lowest average attendance in the league.
The Times Union Center has hosted many live events and televised shows for the WWE. Notable events include the 1992 Royal Rumble, where Ric Flair won the 30-man over the top rope match to become the new WWF Champion. In 2006, at WWE New Year's Revolution, Edge cashed in the first ever Money in the Bank contract to defeat John Cena for the WWE Championship.
The Times Union Center hosted the ECAC Hockey championships each March from 2003 until 2010, when the league announced the tournament was 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, 2008–10, and 2015-19).
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 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament as the Knickerbocker Arena.
In 2008, the Times Union Center hosted the NCAA ice hockey East Regional tournament. The arena hosted ice-hockey regionals in even-numbered years from 2004 through 2010, which was the eighth time the East Regional has been held at the site.
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 hosted the NCAA women's basketball tournament from March 28 to 31, 2015 and NCAA hockey East Regional for the ninth time from March 25 to 27, 2016.They also are hosting the women's NCAA March Madness East Regional in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, the men's first and second rounds will be hosted at the Times Union Center by Siena College and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
High school sports
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 2018. 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.
Since its opening show, starring Frank Sinatra on January 30, 1990, the Times Union Center has become a popular concert venue, due to its proximity to larger cities like New York City, 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.
Phish has played the arena 13 times, most recently during the fall tour of 2018.
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
- Aerosmith – Only band to sell out the arena in same year on two different tours (1998)
- Ariana Grande
- Garth Brooks – The fastest gross income for any event when 51,000 tickets were sold in less than three hours for his 1997 three-day appearance – 283 tickets per minute.
- Grateful Dead – Tied with Phish for most concerts played at arena (13) between 1990 and 1995.
- Green Day
- Billy Joel – Record nine straight times since 1990. A banner hanging from the rafters commemorates this.
- Billy Joel and Elton John
- Dave Matthews Band
- Paul McCartney, Out There Tour – July 5, 2014; sold out in 28 minutes on April 14, 2014.
- Luciano Pavarotti – Highest single event gross revenue (1999)
- Pearl Jam
- Phish - As of October 2018, tied with Grateful Dead for most concerts played at the arena (13)
- R.E.M. – The band filmed their video for their song "Tongue" there on June 20, 1995.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Rolling Stones – September 17, 2005
- Bruce Springsteen
- Justin Timberlake – One of the fastest sold-out shows ever at the arena. Tickets for his The 20/20 Experience World Tour sold out in under 22 minutes for the show, which was held on July 16, 2014.
- Philadelphia Soul @ Albany Empire on April 14, 2018. First home game for the Empire.
- 2003 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional – Syracuse, Auburn, Oklahoma and Butler.
- 2019 Mumford and Sons Delta Tour
The New York State Democratic Convention nominated then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as its U.S. Senate candidate at their statewide convention at Times Union Center on May 16, 2000. Her husband, President of the United States Bill Clinton, attended the event.
- DeMare, Carol (May 5, 2006). "Times Union Enters a New Arena". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Dougherty, Pete (October 9, 2010). "Devils Era Begins at Refurbished Times Union Center". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- McGuire, Mark (April 25, 2008). "The Greatest Game?". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Binghamton Secures New AHL Team as Devils Relocate Franchise". TWC News. January 31, 2017.
- Sources: Albany Devils leaving for Binghamton
- Dougherty, Pete (March 21, 2010). "Denver, Cornell, New Hampshire, RIT in Albany Regional". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Singelais, Mark (December 12, 2013). "NCAA Again Calls on Albany". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "NYSPHSAA Tweet". New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- Allen, James (October 28, 2011). "State Wrestling Tournament Will Stay in Albany Through 2016". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- DeMare, Carol (January 31, 2010). "20 Years in Albany's Arena". Times Union (Albany). Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Barnes, Steve (July 6, 2014). "Paul McCartney rocks Albany". Albany Times Union. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Paul McCartney: The Jew-ish Beatle?". JBiz Tech Valley. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Skodnick: Empire sell-out shows Capital Region can support pro sports". Times Union. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
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