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The Times Union Center is an indoor arena located in Albany, New Yorkmarker, with a maximum seating capacity of 15,500 for sporting events. Current tenants include Siena Collegemarker's men's basketball team, the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League, and the Albany Firebirds (formerly Albany Conquest) of af2.

The building, designed by Crozier Associates, engineered by Clough Harbour & Associates and built by Beltrone/MLB at a cost of $68.6 million.The arena also has 25 luxury suites, each having 16 seats, cable T.V., private bathroom, and private refrigerator, and are located at the top of the inner bowl. Suites are rented on a three-year lease basis (suites are currently sold out). The arena was opened on January 30, 1990 as the Knickerbocker Arena with a performance by Frank Sinatra. The naming rights of the arena were sold to Pepsi in 1997, and it was known as Pepsi Arena from 1997-2006. In May 2006 the naming rights were sold to the Times Union, a regional newspaper, and the name of the arena became the Times Union Center on January 1, 2007. The building is managed by SMG.

Previous tenants have included the Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League, the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association, the Albany Choppers of the International Hockey League, the Albany Attack of the National Lacrosse League, and the New York Kick of the National Professional Soccer League. The University at Albanymarker has used the facility for past games against Syracuse Universitymarker and has been approached to use the facility for some dates in the future in the wake of their participation in the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

The Times Union Center also regularly hosts exhibition games of major sports leagues. The NBA, WNBA, and NHL have all played games at the arena.

College sports

The Times Union Center is often home to the annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament (1990-96, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009), and hosts the ECAC Hockey League championships every March. It will host the MAAC basketball tournament again in 2010.
The Times Union Center's atrium
In 2003, the Times Union Center hosted the NCAA basketball East Regional, which was won by Syracuse University on their way to their first national championship. The arena also hosted the first and second rounds of the 1995 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament as the Knickerbocker Arena.

In 2008, the Times Union Center hosted the NCAA ice hockey East Regional tournament. The arena has hosted ice hockey regionals in even-numbered years since 2004 and is scheduled to host again in 2010, which will be the eighth time the East Regional has been held at the site.

In 2000, the Times Union Center hosted a regional quarterfinal between St. Lawrence Universitymarker and Boston Universitymarker, which went into quadruple overtime; becoming the longest game in the history of the tournament and the second longest game in Division I men's college hockey history (it is currently the third longest game).

The Times Union Center also hosted the Frozen Four on two occasions, in 1992 (as Knickerbocker Arena) when Lake Superior State University defeated Wisconsinmarker for the national championship, and again in 2001 as the Pepsi Arena when Boston Collegemarker defeated North Dakota.

Music

View of the TU Center from Pearl Street
Since its opening show starring Frank Sinatra on January 30, 1990, the Times Union Center has become a popular concert venue, due to its proximity to larger cities like New Yorkmarker, Bostonmarker, and Montrealmarker, where concert tickets tend to sell out faster. It is within walking distance from the city's Greyhound bus station, as well as being close to hotels, bars and restaurants. The open parking lots near the arena provide an excellent tailgating area for fans before the show.

Professional wrestling

World Wrestling Entertainment has visited the arena quite often. From 1990-1998 189,833 WWF fans have walked through the Times Union Center doors. Three superstars won their first WWE Championship in this arena. 1992's Royal Rumble took place here, with an attendance of 16,307. The event is considered one of the most notable events in WWF History as Ric Flair went over an hour to win the Rumble, and claim the WWF Championship for the first time.

In 2000, the Pepsi Arena hosted the World Wrestling Federation's No Mercy, notable for the return of Steve Austin to active competition after being injured at the hands of Rikishi. This show also featured Kurt Angle winning the WWF Championship for the first time, defeating The Rock. The show was also sold-out with an attendance of 14,342

Around the same time at the then Pepsi Arena, Steve Austin had a beer truck driven down the ramp to the ring and sprayed Vince McMahon and company with beer.

Edge also won his first WWE Championship in January 2006, when it hosted New Year's Revolution. The attendance was 11,000

On August 28, 2007 the Times Union Center held the first live televised ECW on Sci Fi accompanied by the first SmackDown! taping after WWE Summerslam 2007. The SmackDown taping featured the return of Rey Mysterio to SmackDown after a knee injury.WWE Smackdown! also had a double taping, on November 25, 2008. The Undertaker faced The Big Show in a steel cage match.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling held their first live event at the arena on September 7, 2008.

References



  1. "Times Union enters a new arena". Carol DeMare. Times Union. May 5, 2006.
  2. Pepsi Arena (Times Union Center) Tickets


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