Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Denver Pepsi Center

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Denver is proposing that the 2008 Democratic National Convention take place at Denver's Pepsi Center.

The Pepsi Center opened in October, 1999, and is home to the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, and other teams. The bulding seats 18,000-20,000, depending on configuration, and 95 luxury suites. The building totals more than 675,000 square feet of building space, including a separate full-size practice basketball court.

A picture of the Pepsi Center and the surroundings is at left. Note that it is mostly surrounded by parking lots. But in the lower left, you can see Six Flags Elitch Gardens. I'm very interested to find out if Denver is planning to close the theme park during the convention. I would imagine they would want to use the parking lots for convention activities, and I would think that security concerns would not allow the public to park so close to a convention hall.

Update: The commenter and an emailer have both pointed out that there is a clear fence line between the theme park and the Pepsi Center parking lot, so an easy security line can be set up. There is also a lot of parking available at the college next door, as well as Invesco Field across the interstate. And by the way - the parking is not needed for cars - no one drives to a convention - but for any support space needed.

The picture is also old, as it does not show the CityLights Pavilion, which is in the parking lot just south of the "N". This music amphitheater could be used for a number of uses, either as media workspace, or as a place for VIP receptions.

At left is a diagram of the surrounding areas. What Denver doesn't have is a big building nearby to put all the media in. (St. Paul does, and New York does not). However, Denver has options. You could put up a temporary building, which Boston did in 2004. Or you could use buildings at the University of Colorado campus, right next to the Pepsi Center site. I would imagine either or both have been proposed.

I will update this entry as more information is found. Please comment or email any updates.

You can read more about the Pepsi Center in our Pepsi Center Tour post


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The lightrail tracks run right by the pepsi center, high chainlink fences are on both sides and you must use a bridge which you can see as a white strip to cross the tracks from the amusement park to the pepsi center. I'm not sure the amusement park would pose any sort of security risk because of the fences. There is also a lot of parking at the university campus across the street (auraria parkway) from the pepsi center as well as numbers of buildings that could serve media purposes. In the satelite picture there are a number of tennis courts but i think there have been replaced with a huge parking garage. I wonder how much media space is needed?

A cool thing about the lightrail is they have extra tracks built in that could serve to make a temporary line going from the existing downtown line (and the convention center hotel/other hotels) straight to the pepsi center station, if they choose to keep it open. Right now both lines just run north-south, with no direct rail connection between them (imagine a tuning fork, one arm going up to the pepsi center the other going up to downtown.) Currently, you have to transfer a bit farther south where the lines meet. But the extra tracks could solve that nicely, allowing a special convention train

Anonymous said...

well i live in Ft. Collins witch is about 45 min. north of Denver and I would figure that the Amusment park would be closed for the season so they probably will use the parking lot. Although right across the street is Invesco Field at Mile High , our Football stadium "go broncos" and that has almost 30,000 parking spaces so they probably would use that cause those would be avalable.

Matt said...

Why would the amusement park be closed for the season in late August?

Anonymous said...

The ammusment park most definately will be open in late August. It closes for the season in late October.

What I'm really concerned with will be the traffic. The Pepsi Center really is in the heart of Denver. It is located within a few hundred feet of the city's most important highway, I-25, and within a mile of the second major highway, I-70. It runs along Speer Blvd, a MAJOR street that runs right through the Downtown area and into the Cherry Creek shopping district, and is also alongside Auraria Pkwy, which provides access to parking for the 20,000+ students that attend classes on the Auraria Campus. There's no doubt in my mind that they are going to have to shut these streets down. They are just too close to the stadium.

Speaking from experience (I attend classes there), that whole area is going to be a MESS. Classes will just be starting for the fall, and the beginning of classes alone ALWAYS creates a parking nightmare anywhere close to this area. If they close I-25, Speer Blvd AND Auraria Pkwy, traffic is going to be a disaster.

Denver is notorious for having some of the worst traffic in the nation. I wonder what's going to happen when they shut down the main highway out of the city, the street that funnels most of the traffic onto the highway and out of downtown, and the street that provides the only parking for 20,000 students....

I think this sounds like a REALLY good reason to extend my summer vacation another week!

Matt said...


I would be highly surprised if they closed I-25. If there's a shoulder there, I would expect security on the shoulder to make sure cars don't stop in the area, but the highway probably will stay open.

Do me a favor - check with the college. Find out if they're planning to start classes a week late next fall.

Anonymous said...

The UCD will start classes a week earlier then have no classes the week of the convention. I assume the same will be true for Metro and CCD

Matt said...

Thanks for the update. -Matt

Anonymous said...

We have a mansion set-up as an office just off of downtown Denver and very close to all bus lines. It's a 15 min walk to 16th street mall. Does anyone know how to contact delegations for possible rental for the convention?

Anonymous said...

We have a mansion just off of downtown Denver that is set up as an office. It's just off of the bus lines and a 15 min. walk to the 16th street mall. Does anyone know how to see if any delagations are interested in renting this mansion? If so, leave a way or source for contact.

Oreo said...

We'd be happy to put an advertisement up for it. Email the address on the front page if you need help.

Anonymous said...

I have several contacts that will be renting their newer homes in the Englewood and southeast denver areas. They will be close to the lightrail stations so you won't have to worry about the traffic jams, but car rental and maid service will be optional.
E-mail to ccochetas@yahoo.com for more information.

Dangling Wrangler said...

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A Very Comprehensive WiFi List of Lists.

Go Dems !