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Pepsi Center

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Back to the arenas in the USA


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Pictures of the Pepsi Center

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The McNichols Arena, the former home of the Avs





Attendance Figures










1998/1999 ?
1997/1998 16.060
1996/1997 16.061
1995/1996 16.017
1994/1995 15.399
1993/1994 14.614
1992/1993 14.961
1991/1992 13.666
1990/1991 ?
1989/1990 15.080
1988/1989 14.545



Your ticket and your wallet
Season Ticket $ (nhl-rank) Fan Cost  Index $
01/02 65.35
00/01 63.11
99/00 59.09
98/99 49.28
97/98 49.28
96/97 40.04
95/96 31.47
94/95 31.71
All statistics are property of Team Marketing Report, for further statistics and a league-overview follow the link below to my overview (all teams, now and the past, comparison to other leagues):

Tickets & Fan-Cost-Stats (and explanation)
























Pepsi Center

Information and visiting experience by Joachim Soegtrop  (
Pictures of the Pepsi Center provided by Joachim Soegtrop and
Picture of Coors Field provided by

Bernt 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.

But 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:
     Coors Field (right picture), Baseball park for the Colorado Rockies (MLB)
     Pepsi Centre, home of the Avs and Nuggets (NBA) 
      Invesco Field at Mile High, football stadium for the Denver Broncos

All 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.

I 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.

The 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:

You 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).

Hockey 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 ( 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 card along.

As 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.

And 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.

I 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.

Food 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.

Donít 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.

Even 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.

But 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.

All 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


Links to the arena and to the team: