Colorado is an incredibly scenic state, a place where people love “the great outdoors. “ Spectacular mountains, clean, fresh air, year-round skiing – all reasons to live in this western wonderland. So, if residents like spending time outdoors, how is it that an indoor arena, the Pepsi Center, is so popular?
There is a simple answer. Pepsi Center is home to two great sports franchises. The Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL) play home games in Pepsi Center. The same is true for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Both teams have called this magnificent facility home since it opened for business in 1999. In fact, Pepsi Center is such a desirable “home” that there is another professional sports franchise operating out of this building. It is the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
Graphic via axs
Interestingly, other tenants have included the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League (AFL), a team that entertained fans from 2003-2008. The Dew Action Sports Tour, for extreme action sports, held its Right Guard Action event in 2005 before a full house.
Speaking of “full houses,” Pepsi Center can seat eighteen thousand seven people for an ice hockey or lacrosse game. Seating for basketball, professional or college, tops out at nineteen thousand one hundred fifty-five while arena football can accommodate as many as seventeen thousand four hundred seventeen “pigskin enthusiasts.”
Concerts provide large crowds and an important income stream to the owners of Pepsi Center. A capacity crowd for a musical event is normally twenty thousand people, but it can grow even larger when Standing Room tickets are sold.
Special events are sometimes booked in this very popular facility. When it happens, twenty one thousand people find a comfortable seat with good sight lines.
Pepsi Center, known by local residents as “The Can,” cost one hundred eighty-seven million dollars to build nearly sixteen years ago. The cost of construction for the same building in 2015 dollars is an almost-hard-to-believe two hundred sixty-five million dollars.
There have been many noteworthy events in this downtown Denver facility. The National Hockey League All Star game was played here in 2011. In 2005, the National Basketball Association held its All Star game in the same location, but on a hardwood floor instead of ice.
Interestingly, the International Convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society enchanted and delighted fans in 2007 while a year later, in 2008, the Democratic Party held its convention in Pepsi Center and selected Barack Obama as its candidate.
There is obviously lots of history in this still-young venue. It seems readily apparent that Denver’s “go-to” destination will continue to attract fans for hockey, for music and for many other forms of enjoyable entertainment.
Graphic via wikimedia