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McNichols Sports Arena: Wikis

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McNichols Sports Arena
Big Mac
Location 1635 Bryant Street, Denver, CO 80204
Coordinates 39°44′34″N 105°1′21″W / 39.74278°N 105.0225°W / 39.74278; -105.0225Coordinates: 39°44′34″N 105°1′21″W / 39.74278°N 105.0225°W / 39.74278; -105.0225
Opened 1975
Closed 1999
Demolished 1999
Owner City and County of Denver
Construction cost $10 million
Capacity Basketball: 17,171
Ice hockey: 16,061
Tenants
Denver Spurs (WHA) (1975-1976)
Colorado Rockies (NHL) (1976-1982)
Colorado Flames (CHL) (1982-1984)
Denver Nuggets (NBA) (1975-1999)
Colorado Avalanche (NHL) (1995-1999)
Denver Grizzlies (IHL) (1994-1995)
Denver Dynamite (AFL) (1987-1991)
Denver Avalanche (MISL) (1980–1982)
1990 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

McNichols Sports Arena (aka Big Mac) was an indoor arena in Denver, Colorado, USA, adjacent to Mile High Stadium. Completed in 1975 at a cost of $10 million, it seated 16,061 for hockey games or 17,171 for basketball games and contained 27 luxury suites. The arena was largely shuttered after the Nuggets and Avalanche moved to Pepsi Center and was razed in 1999 to make space for a parking lot surrounding INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Sports connections

"Big Mac" was the home of the Denver Spurs of the WHA from 1975 to 1976, the Colorado Rockies of the NHL from 1976 to 1982, the Colorado Flames of the CHL from 1982 to 1984, the Denver Nuggets of the ABA and NBA from 1975 to 1999, the Denver Avalanche of the MISL from 1981 to 1982, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL from 1995 to 1999, and the Denver Grizzlies of the International Hockey League from 1994 to 1995.

McNichols hosted the NCAA Final Four in 1990, won by UNLV over Duke University and the West Regional Semifinal in 1996. It was also host to the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, in which the host Nuggets defeated the ABA All-Stars, games 1, 2, and 5 of the 1976 ABA finals, and the 1984 NBA All-Star Game. It also hosted games one and two of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, where the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in four games to bring the Mile High City its first major sports championship.

McNichols also hosted the first event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993.[1]

The arena was the site of the largest crowd ever to see an NCAA college ice hockey game in the State of Colorado, as the University of Denver defeated Colorado College, 3–2, for the Denver Cup championship in 1995, with over 16,000 fans in attendance.

Another notable event at McNichols took place on December 13, 1983, when the Nuggets hosted the Detroit Pistons in a regular season contest. Nugget players Kiki Vandeweghe and Alex English scored 51 and 47 points respectively, while Piston Isiah Thomas also scored 47 points, with teammate John Long scoring 41 in a 186-184 triple-overtime Detroit win over the Nuggets. The game, still to date, is the highest-scoring game in NBA history, and also holds the record for the most players to score 40 or more points in a single game. However, the game was not televised in the Denver area (instead being shown back to the Detroit market, via WKBD-TV, and was attended by just over 9,300 people. This game has since been broadcasted on NBA TV and ESPN Classic specials),

Concert arena

When not being used for athletic events, the venue was frequently used for music concerts including performances by Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Bruce Springsteen, Grateful Dead, Electric Light Orchestra, REO Speedwagon, Neil Diamond, Steven Curtis Chapman, Linda Ronstadt, Beastie Boys, Guns N' Roses, and Phish. ZZ Top performed at the venue's final concert September 12, 1999.

REO Speedwagon's concert from 1981 was performed here as MTV's first ever live concert. Parts of U2's half-live rockumentary Rattle and Hum came from one concert filmed in the arena on the third leg of the band's 1987 Joshua Tree Tour, including Bono's famous "Fuck the revolution!" speech during Sunday Bloody Sunday.[2]

Def Leppard recorded one of their shows here in February, 1988, and released it as Live: In the Round, in Your Face, which was also recorded at The Omni in Atlanta

References

Preceded by
Denver Arena Auditorium
Home of the
Denver Nuggets

1975 – 1999
Succeeded by
Pepsi Center
Preceded by
Quebec Coliseum
Home of the
Colorado Avalanche

1995 – 1999
Succeeded by
Pepsi Center
Preceded by
The Forum
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

1984
Succeeded by
Hoosier Dome
Preceded by
Kingdome
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

1990
Succeeded by
Hoosier Dome
Preceded by
Kemper Arena
Home of the
Colorado Rockies

1976 – 1982
Succeeded by
Brendan Byrne Arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Denver Grizzlies

1994 – 1995
Succeeded by
E Center
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Denver Spurs

1975 – 1976
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Colorado Flames

1982 – 1984
Succeeded by
last arena
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