Mc Nichols Arena
In their first season in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Avalanche managed to deliver a great present to their new fans, the first Stanley Cup in team history. The former Quebec Nordiques needed only one season to achieve what had not been possible during decades in Quebec City when the Avalanche cruised by the Florida Panthers in the cup-finals in 4 games (even though most hockey-fans will probably remember game 4 of the series when Patrick Roy and John Vanbiesbrouck, the two netminders of the teams, had a great duel for almost 6 full periods of hockey before the german Uwe Krupp scored the cup-winner for the Colorado Avalanche). The Avs also became the first professional sport-team from Colorado to win a national championships, later the Denver Broncos followed with Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999 before the Colorado Avalanche recaptured the Stanley Cup in 2001 after loosing to the Dallas Stars in the conference-finals the previous two seasons. More than 600.000 fans celebrated the teamīs first cup at the victory parade in downtown Denver, in 2001 about 250.000 bothered to show up for the victory-parade through downtown Denver. Ever since the team started to play in Denver they sold out each and every one of their home-games, wether they were at McNichols Arena or the new Pepsi Center (a streak of 250+ games, best in the NHL).
The McNichols Arena was also home of the Denver Nuggets, Denverīs at times embarassing NBA-franchise which had crowds of only a couple thousands on a regular basis at the old arena.
The arena itself was everything else than a piece of beauty. A small, narrow and dark concourse and no video-screen above the ice (but bad screens at each end of the ice) were just two hardly acceptable givens at the arena. And due to the fact that the arena didnīt have any long history attached to it there was also no historical feeling in place, something that made visits at other old arenas an experience. McNichols Arena was just plain simply a bad arena, nothing else.
Anyways, two years ago construction works on the Pepsi Center started, and with the new arena with new revenue sources the team should be able to afford itīs extremly expensive and succesful roster with stars such as Patrick Roy, Peter Forsberg or Joe Sakic, three players, who cost about as much as Nashville spends for itīs whole team.
Even though the team had a sellout streak going on forever there were
often many empty seats in the lower level due to the fact that the local corporations were
obviously hot on tickets but short on users for those tickets. The upper level, home of
the normal fans, never had an empty seat though.
Tips for visitors:
Colorado is a great state to visit, no matter wether itīs a summer or a winter vacation. Denver is also a nice city, so nothing should hold you back when youīre around. Interestingly Denver is one of the view cities in the US which have a pedestrian zone downtown (16th street maal), a rather european feature (there is also a small pedestrian shopping zone in lower Manhatten).
Anyways, directions to McNichols Arena should be of no use anymore and I donīt know where the Pepsi Center is located.
Even though the new Pepsi Center has about 1.500 seats more than
McNichols Arena I would still assume that the ticket-situation is very tense in Denver. I
would definetly try to order tickets as long as possible in advance, since I donīt have
any personal experience I canīt tell you how much the typical scalper is charging.
Especially games against good eastern conference clubs, the Detroit Red Wings or Dallas
Stars should be sold out weeks or even months in advance, if thatīs also the case for the
rest of the games I canīt tell, I only know that theyīre all sold out in the end.
Links to the team:
The team: www.coloradoavalanche.com