Pepsi Center

Pepsi Center
Pepsi Center
The Can
Pepsi Center Logo.svg

Denver Pepsi Center 1.jpg
Location 1000 Chopper Circle
Denver, Colorado 80204
Coordinates 39°44′55″N 105°0′27″W / 39.74861°N 105.0075°W / 39.74861; -105.0075Coordinates: 39°44′55″N 105°0′27″W / 39.74861°N 105.0075°W / 39.74861; -105.0075
Broke ground November 20, 1997
Opened October 1, 1999 [1]
Owner Kroenke Sports Enterprises
Operator Kroenke Sports Enterprises
Surface Multi-Surface
Construction cost $160 million
($211 million in 2011 dollars[2])
Architect Populous (then HOK Sport)
Project Manager ICON Venue Group[3]
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Services engineer M*E Engineers[4]
General Contractor M.A. Mortenson Company[5]
Capacity Basketball: 19,155 [6]
Hockey / Lacrosse: 18,007[6]
Arena Football: 17,417[6]
Concerts: 20,000+[6]
Special events: 21,000[6]
Denver Nuggets (NBA) (1999–present)
Colorado Avalanche (NHL) (1999–present)
Colorado Mammoth (NLL) (2003–present)
Colorado Crush (AFL) (2003–2008)
Democratic National Convention (2008)
MWC Conference Tournament (2004–2006)

Pepsi Center (aka The Can) is a multi-purpose arena in Denver, Colorado, United States. The building is home to the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association, the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League, and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League. When not in use by one of Denver's sports teams, the building frequently serves as a concert venue.[1]

The arena is named for its chief corporate sponsor, PepsiCo.[7]



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 Sports Authority Field (formerly Invesco Field), 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 a nearby exit 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 Blue Sky Grill, 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 Sports Authority 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: the Colisée Pepsi.


Original Pepsi Center logo (1999-2009).
Pepsi Center's interior during a National Collegiate Athletic Association hockey tournament.

Pepsi Center hosted the 2001 NHL All-Star Game, the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, and the 2005 NBA All-Star Game. From 2004–2006, 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 6–10. The Dew Action Sports returned to Denver for its second year in 2006 during July 13–16. 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. Pepsi Center also hosted WWE Vengeance 2003.

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 and 2011.

The main entrance to the arena as it looked during the third day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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, Colorado. Roughly 12 miles (19 km) of fiber optic cables were installed for the massive communication needs of the convention.

Double-booking controversy

On August 15, 2008, World Wrestling Entertainment booked an internationally televised event, WWE Monday Night Raw, to take place at Pepsi Center on Monday, May 25, 2009. However, Denver Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke 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 the Nuggets game would take precedent.

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."[8]

For the WWE event, Ticketmaster refused to refund their processing fee, thereby only giving fans a partial refund.[9] The fee, however, is strictly charged by Ticketmaster alone and not WWE or KSE. On May 20, 2009, it was announced that the WWE event scheduled for Pepsi Center would be moved to Staples Center in Los Angeles, California (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.

In popular culture

Pepsi Center appears in the South Park episodes Stanley's Cup, The Ring, and W.T.F..

The center was used as a filming location for the 2007 film Blades of Glory.[10]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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