Times Union Center

  (Redirected from Knickerbocker Arena)

The Times Union Center (originally Knickerbocker Arena, then Pepsi Arena) is an indoor arena located in Albany, New York. It is configurable and can accommodate from 6,000 to 17,500 people,[1] with a maximum seating capacity of 15,500 for sporting events.[2]

Times Union Center
TUCenterlogo.jpg
Times Union Center 2011.jpg
Former namesKnickerbocker Arena (1990–1997)
Pepsi Arena (1997–2006)
Address51 South Pearl Street
LocationAlbany, New York
Coordinates42°38′55″N 73°45′17″W / 42.64861°N 73.75472°W / 42.64861; -73.75472Coordinates: 42°38′55″N 73°45′17″W / 42.64861°N 73.75472°W / 42.64861; -73.75472
OwnerAlbany County
OperatorSMG
Capacity15,357 (concerts)
15,229 (basketball)
14,236 (hockey)
13,785 (arena football)
17,500 (max)
SurfaceMulti-surface
Construction
Broke groundFebruary 5, 1987
OpenedJanuary 30, 1990
Construction cost$69.4 million, $1.6 million (2010 renovation)
ArchitectCrozier Associates
Structural engineerClough Harbour & Associates
General contractorBeltrone/MLB
Tenants
Albany Firebirds (AFL) (1990–2000)
New York Kick (NPSL) (1990–1991)
Albany Choppers (IHL) (1990–1991)
Albany Patroons (CBA) (1990–1992)
Siena Saints (NCAA) (1990–present)
Albany River Rats (AHL) (1993–2010)
Albany Attack (NLL) (2000–2003)
Albany Conquest/Firebirds (af2) (2002–2009)
Albany Devils (AHL) (2010–2017)
Albany Empire (AFL) (2018–2019)
Albany Empire (NAL) (2021–present)
Albany FireWolves (NLL) (2021–)

The building, designed by Crozier Associates and engineered by Clough Harbour & Associates, was built by Beltrone/MLB at a cost of $69.4 million.[citation needed]

HistoryEdit

The arena was opened on January 30, 1990, as the Knickerbocker Arena with a performance by Frank Sinatra.[3]

The naming rights of the arena were sold to Pepsi in 1997 and it was known as Pepsi Arena from 1997 to 2006.[citation needed] 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 ASM Global.[4]

The New York State Democratic Convention nominated then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as its U.S. Senate candidate at their statewide convention at Times Union Center on May 16, 2000. Her husband, President of the United States Bill Clinton, attended the event.[5]

When the New Jersey Devils' AHL franchise relocated to this arena in the summer of 2010, the arena received a new scoreboard, LED ribbons above the luxury suites and new outside lighting, as well as an upgraded home team locker room.[6]

The arena will be home to the Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League beginning in late 2021.

SportsEdit

The Siena College's men's basketball team has been a major tenant of the arena.[7]

Previous tenants have included the Albany Firebirds (formerly Albany Conquest) of af2, the original Albany Firebirds of the AFL, the Albany Empire of the AFL, the Albany Patroons of the CBA, the Albany Choppers of the IHL, the Albany River Rats of the AHL, the Albany Attack of the NLL and the New York Kick of the NPSL II.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Andre Agassi played John McEnroe just three days after Agassi won the US Open in 1994.[8]

Ice hockeyEdit

The Times Union Center was home to the American Hockey League from 1993, when the Albany River Rats became the building's primary tenant until 2017. The River Rats won the Calder Cup championship in 1994–95.[9]

On April 24, 2008, one of the longest games in the history of the American Hockey League took place at the Times Union Center. Ryan Potulny scored the winning goal for the Philadelphia Phantoms at 2:58 of the fifth overtime period after 142 minutes and 58 seconds of hockey, played over 5 hours and 38 minutes. In the process, River Rats goaltender Michael Leighton set a modern-day record by making 98 saves.[10]

Following the River Rats' relocation to Charlotte, N.C., in 2010, the Albany Devils began play in the AHL.[11]

It was announced on January 31, 2017, that the Devils would relocate to Binghamton following the completion of the 2016–17 season[12] ending 24 years of AHL hockey in the arena. At the time of the relocation, the Devils were drawing the lowest average attendance in the league.[13]

WWEEdit

The Times Union Center has hosted many live events and televised shows for the WWE. Notable events include the 1992 Royal Rumble, where Ric Flair won the 30-man over the top rope match to become the new WWF Champion. In 2006, at WWE New Year's Revolution, Edge cashed in the first ever Money in the Bank contract to defeat John Cena for the WWE Championship. It was also here on March 22, 1999 that Steve Austin drove to the ring in a beer truck and gave a "beer bath" to Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and The Rock.[14]

College sportsEdit

The Times Union Center hosted the ECAC Hockey championships each March from 2003 until 2010, when the league announced the tournament was moved to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and is often home to the annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament (1990–96, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008–10, and 2015–19).

 
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 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament as the Knickerbocker Arena.[15]

In 2008, the Times Union Center hosted the NCAA ice hockey East Regional tournament. The arena hosted ice-hockey regionals in even-numbered years from 2004 through 2010, which was the eighth time the East Regional has been held at the site.[16]

In 2000, the Times Union Center hosted a regional quarterfinal between St. Lawrence University and Boston University, which went into quadruple overtime. The game was the longest game in the history of the tournament[17] and, at the time, the second longest game in Division I men's college hockey history.[citation needed]

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

The venue hosted the NCAA women's basketball tournament from March 28 to 31, 2015 and NCAA hockey East Regional for the ninth time from March 25 to 27, 2016.[18]

High school sportsEdit

 
Wrestlers gather on the floor of the Times Union Center for the opening ceremony of the 53rd NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships on February 27, 2015.

The Times Union Center has been a regular host of the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships since 2005 and has won a bid to host the annual event each year through 2018.[19][better source needed] According to the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the wrestling state tournament annually contributes more than $1.5 million into the Capital Region economy, and in 2011 it was the second-largest sporting event in Albany County.[20]

MusicEdit

 
The Times Union Center and its parking garage, as viewed from the Empire State Plaza. The 1997–2006 Pepsi Arena signage is visible in this photo.
 
View of the TU Center from Pearl Street

The first-ever event at the arena was a Frank Sinatra concert on January 30, 1990.[21]

In 1990, the Grateful Dead recorded their 1996 release, Dozin' at the Knick, at the arena.[22]

Whitesnake played at the arena during their Slip of the Tongue world tour in 1990. The concert took place February 15, and there were many empty seats due to a blizzard keeping many fans from getting to the arena.[citation needed]

Gloria Estefan played at the arena on August 30, 1991 during her 1991-1992 “Into The Light World Tour.”

Metallica played at the Times Union Center, then known as the Knickerbocker Arena, on February 28, 1992 during their Wherever We May Roam Tour. The band again played at the Center, then known as the Pepsi Arena, on October 9, 2004 during their Madly in Anger with the World tour. Metallica played at the arena on November 12, 2009 during their World Magnetic Tour.[23]

U2 played at the arena in 1992[24] and again in 2001.[25]

Phish has played the arena 13 times, most recently during the fall tour of 2018.[26]

Demi Lovato played at the arena on September 7, 2014 as part of her Demi World Tour.[27]

On March 18, 2019, Ariana Grande opened her very popular Sweetener World Tour at the arena.[28]

Celine Dion returned to the arena after 21 years on December 7, 2019 as part of her Courage World Tour. Dion's first performance at the arena took place on December 1, 1998 as part of her Let's Talk About Love World Tour.[citation needed]

Notable selloutsEdit

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Plan Your Event". albanycapitalcenter.com. Albany Capital Center. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  2. ^ DeMasi, Michael. "$1.1 million in new contracts awarded for Times Union Center upgrades". bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  3. ^ DeMare, Carol (May 5, 2006). "Times Union Enters a New Arena". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  4. ^ Williams, Michael. "Albany's Times Union Center has new management firm". timesunion.com. Hearst. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  5. ^ "DID YOU KNOW?". timesunioncenter-Albany.com. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  6. ^ Dougherty, Pete (October 9, 2010). "Devils Era Begins at Refurbished Times Union Center". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Singelais, Mark (October 3, 2019). "Siena men's basketball extends deal with Times Union Center". Times Union.
  8. ^ "ON THE RECORD: NCAA Tourneys return to the TU Center". The Record.
  9. ^ Gwizdala, Michael. "ONCE A CHAMPION, ALWAYS A CHAMPION". Troyrecord.com. 21st Century Media. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  10. ^ McGuire, Mark (April 25, 2008). "The Greatest Game?". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  11. ^ Gwizdala, Michael. "What Killed the AHL in Albany?". thehockeywriters.com. The Hockey Writers. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  12. ^ "Binghamton Secures New AHL Team as Devils Relocate Franchise". TWC News. January 31, 2017.
  13. ^ Dougherty, Pete (January 26, 2017). "Sources: Albany Devils leaving for Binghamton". Times Union.
  14. ^ Glasspiegel, Ryan. "It's Been 20 Years Since Steve Austin Doused the McMahons and The Rock With a Beer Truck Hose". thebiglead.com. Minute Media. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  15. ^ "History". timesunioncenter-albany.com. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  16. ^ Dougherty, Pete (March 21, 2010). "Denver, Cornell, New Hampshire, RIT in Albany Regional". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  17. ^ "St. Lawrence defeats BU -- at 123:53". ESPN.com. ESPN, Inc. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  18. ^ Singelais, Mark (December 12, 2013). "NCAA Again Calls on Albany". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "NYSPHSAA Tweet". New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  20. ^ Allen, James (October 28, 2011). "State Wrestling Tournament Will Stay in Albany Through 2016". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  21. ^ DeMare, Carol (January 31, 2010). "20 Years in Albany's Arena". Times Union (Albany). Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  22. ^ Metzger, John. "Grateful Dead Dozin' at the Knick". musicbox-online.com. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "ALBANY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES TIMES UNION CENTER / NOVEMBER 12, 2009". Metallica.com. Metallica, Blackened Recordings. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  24. ^ "Rare audio of U2's '81 show in Capital Region surfaces". Times Union. August 31, 2016.
  25. ^ Bump, Bethany (January 24, 2020). "Times Union Center has second most profitable year ever". Times Union.
  26. ^ "Pepsi Arena- Phish.net". phish.net. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  27. ^ DeFeciani, Emily. "Pop star Ariana Grande kicks off tour in Albany". cbs6albany.com. Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  28. ^ DeFeciani, Emily. "Pop star Ariana Grande kicks off tour in Albany". cbs6albany.com. Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  29. ^ Barnes, Steve (July 6, 2014). "Paul McCartney rocks Albany". Albany Times Union. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  30. ^ "Paul McCartney: The Jew-ish Beatle?". JBiz Tech Valley. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  31. ^ "The Rolling Stones Albany Sep. 17 2005 show by IORR". iorr.org.
  32. ^ "Skodnick: Empire sell-out shows Capital Region can support pro sports". Times Union. Retrieved April 17, 2018.

External linksEdit

Events and tenants
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Albany Firebirds

1990–2010
Succeeded by
Conseco Fieldhouse (as Indiana Firebirds)
Preceded by
Houston Field House (as Capital District Islanders)
Home of the
Albany River Rats

1993–2010
Succeeded by
Time Warner Cable Arena (as Charlotte Checkers)
Preceded by
Saint Paul Civic Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Host of the
Frozen Four

1992
Succeeded by
Bradley Center
Milwaukee
Preceded by
Providence Civic Center
Providence, Rhode Island
Host of the
Frozen Four

2001
Succeeded by
Xcel Energy Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Preceded by
Tsongas Center (as Lowell Devils)
Home of the
Albany Devils

2010–2017
Succeeded by
Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena (as Binghamton Devils)