The McNichols Arena, the former home of the Avs
already told enough about the history of hockey in Denver in his article
about the former home of the Colorado Avalanche, the McNichols Arena, so I
will cut this part out of my article.
there is one thing I definitely have to add: Denver,
or the whole of Colorado, is absolutely crazy about its pro sport teams.
Between 1995 and 2001 three news arenas have been constructed on the banks
of the South Platte Rivers in Denver, costing about 800 million dollars
total. The constructions were:
those arenas were financed by the six surrounding counties (Denver and its
surroundings). How? By tax-raises! How? By voluntary tax-raises? It is no
joke but the inhabitants of Denver decided in favour of higher taxes when
the financing of the new arenas had to be worked out. They could choose
between not building them, a higher VAT or a higher tax on beds in hotels
and rental cars. The last option won in the end and the tourists and
businessmen visiting are the ones who carry the bill which seems like a
fair deal. But this doesnít really matter, when one looks at Germany it
is obvious that something of this magnitude could never happen here as
nobody would be willing to finance the homes of highly valuable pro teams
by paying extra taxes. Period.
am sorry that I canít base my article on a visit of an Avs game in
Denver as I only went inside when the Denver Nuggets played and have only
seen the building in its basketball configuration.
Pepsi Centre is located at the western end of Downtown Denver,
approximately two miles to the east of the former McNichols Arena (torn
down by now, the ground serves as parking space for the new Invesco Field).
It is a good idea to spend the day at the 16th street mall (a pedestrian
zone, doesnít exist too often in the US) and to walk over to the arena
at night. Parking is available for more than enough vehicles as the Six
Flags Elitch Gardens (theme park) and the Auroria Campus (home of three
universities) are right around the corner and provide parking spaces as
well. If you wish to get a bit of orientation take a look at:
should not have to spend more than five bucks on parking if you are
willing to walk a bit. Public transport is a good choice as well even
though it is rather unusual to do so in car-friendly Denver (or the whole
of the US for that matter).
is one of the biggest draws Denver has to offer besides the Denver Broncos
(Football), who sold all their tickets since the 70s (76.000 seats at the
moment). Supposingly there is something like a good working black market
for football tickets but when you are in town to catch the Avs you wonít
find a lot of scalpers hanging around as the arena seats only 18.007. And
if you find one you will have to part with a lot of bills which is
something you might think twice about, considering the already high ticket
prices if you get some the regular way. Tickets for the Avs can be bought
online at ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) and I would advise you to do
so as early as possible. The tickets can then be picked up rather
hassle-free at the will-call window if you bring your ID and the credit
we had not ordered tickets for the Avs in advance and as the prices the
scalpers asked from us were not working out with our budgets we decided to
visit the Denver Nuggets whose tickets are far easier to get (and by the
thousands on most nights). I donít have to add a lot to the outside
appearance of the building. I liked it a lot. Take a look at the picture.
After passing the rigorous security checkpoints you wonít feel as you
expect to feel inside a sports arena at first. You might feel like you
just entered a shopping temple or the opera. Large escalators take you up
to the upper levels, everything is made out of expensive materials and you
will walk on carpet, believe it or not. The first time you really get that
you are inside an arena is when you step into the bowl and see the
jumbotron and the banners of the Avs.
a great view it is, even though I disliked the feature that all seats were
the same colour which gave the empty building a brown and dark look. I
suppose it looks a lot better when a typical Avs sell-out is taking
place but nevertheless I didnít like it too much. The seats on the other
hand are pretty comfy by European standards, on the other hand all the
slightly heavier Americans have to fit into the seats as well.
would say that the view is pretty good no matter where you are inside the
building. The cheapest tickets for the Avs are 23 $ (2003/2004) but as the
building is pretty steep nobody is sitting too far from the action and can
still feel part of it. In 2002 we had bought tickets for section 375 and
paid 27 dollars for them (Nuggets tickets), the same sections went for 64
$ when the Avs hit the ice (and were all sold). The demand seems to allow
these outrageous prices but the team also puts some of the best-known
players onto the ice for every game with stars as Forsberg, Sakic, Blake,
Kariya and Selanne.
is another pretty expensive story but nothing really bad by comparison to
other arenas in the US. I warn you not to enter the building with an empty
stomach and would advise a visit at a Hot Dog stand in downtown Denver
before a game or at a fast-food chain of your choice. Another alternative
is a food-temple located on the 16th street mall where you can get some
good Chinese food, the famous Doner or anything else youíre looking for
at rather competitive prices.
plan on getting drunk inside the building as well. You are not allowed to
bring anything inside with the expectation of baby food and nobody is
allowed to consume more than two beers ("in the interest of ones own
safety"). I have no idea how this should be controlled and what the
purpose ought to be. You also canít purchase anything without your ID so
take it along. Even when you are 80 years old they will tell you "no
ID, no alcohol". No comment here.
though the American beer is better than its image (not that hard,
especially Coors and Miller are worth a try) you wonít feel too thirsty
with the asking price of a beer at seven bucks anyways.
whenever you feel like returning your beer you will be able to enjoy
state-of-the-art restrooms that make you feel like inside a 4-star-hotel.
All seats are equipped with a cup-holder as well so that you can cheer or
boo as much as you like without spilling your expensive drinks over the
person in front of you.
in all the architects of this building did a very decent job and came up
with a building all fans can be proud about. Visiting fans and the
visiting media love the building just as much and it will host the NBA All
Star game in 2005 after already holding the same event for the NHL.
Seating chart of the arena:
Seating chart provided by www.eishockey.com.
to the arena and to the team: