History of the Pepsi Center and Why They Changed It’s Name

Downtown Denver, Colorado where the newly named Ball Arena is currently located

First opened to the public in October of ’99, the Pepsi Center was Denver’s first major multi-faceted sports venue with a capacity of over 17,000. The arena was broken in with a performance by the great Celine Dion as a sold-out show packed the stands with an elated crowd. Since then, the state’s sports organizations have sold tickets to numerous face-offs inside its walls, making it a hub for both live athletic and music entertainment in Colorado. Before we jump into looking at the reasons behind the Pepsi Center’s name change, let’s take a look at how the venue has served the sports community and city in general since its founding.

Both NHL and NBA Teams Call It Their Home Base

Although the location is home to a variety of events, most importantly for fans of the NBA, the Denver Nuggets have called the space their main court since its opening back in 1999. Although they are one of six franchises that have yet to win a major league title, this year they may have a shot as expert analysts place them within top NBA odds as a Northwest Division Futures winner. If this is the case, there will be a lot of excitement in the area as Denver fans want nothing more than to bring an NBA championship home.

Professional hockey has also been an important sport at the arena as they have hosted many matches, turning their basketball court into an ice hockey rink. In 2001, the league’s highly anticipated All-Star Game took place here, pitting the best players in the sport against each other in one intense, annual competition. However, most notably that same year the state’s home team, the Colorado Avalanche, won huge at the arena and gained the highly coveted Stanley Cup for the first time since ’96. Unfortunately, the organization has not won a Championship title since but continues to bring excitement to the state, often selling out tickets when they play at home.

Many notable professional ice hockey matchups have been played at the downtown arena

Other Notable Events  

Annually, the venue hosts more than 200 events inside its walls.  Although sports games account for many of those, there are also a variety of concerts, shows, and cultural events that take place. The arena has been the home of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the Grand Prix of Denver, and even live Oprah shows! Nowadays, visitors can see the arena by purchasing an All-Access Tour pass which are available Monday through Friday for visitors and locals alike. For only $6, you can see where the Denver Nuggets practice, visit their official locker rooms, and much more. Spending a day touring the arena is also a great way to escape the cool, wet temperatures that have become the norm throughout the entirety of Colorado in the past few years. 

First Name Change in 21 Years          

So, why would a world-class sport and entertainment center that is well-known in its community and throughout the country for being called the “Pepsi Center” change its name to “Ball Arena?” Well, the answer lies in its main affiliate, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment who stated that a shared vision was needed to advance sustainability in the sporting world. Since Colorado is a progressive state that believes in moving the world forward, focusing on improving the environment and climate at the same time, KSE’s goal with the name change is to work towards the reduction of waste plastic and an increase in the use of recyclable aluminum.    

From now on, the Pepsi Center will be known as the Ball Arena after its owning corporation, the Ball Corporation which focuses on the production of cans and other products. The change just goes to show that companies are beginning to evolve with the times, putting more of an emphasis on recycling and waste management.



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