(This particular profile is more of a synopsis of our evening rather than the normal venue
profile. Click to Colorado Avalanche to go to the actual venue profile.)
*This was originally our 100th stop, but was renumbered when two teams we had already
visited were relocated to new venues
The train of events that led to this special evening actually dates back some five months
prior to our Nuggets visit. Shortly after our return from our first Denver visit we were made
aware of a former Western NY'er working within the Avs/Nuggets organization. Phil
Kosobucki, Director of Fan Development for the Nuggets and the Avalanche. He was born
and raised in Cheektowaga, New York, is a Depew HS and University of Buffalo graduate,
and his career path has taken him to Denver. We made a note of it at the time and on our
return visit we hoped to connect with Phil. To put it mildly, thanks to the efforts of Phil and
many others, our day at the Nuggets game surpassed all of our wildest expectations and
made stop #100 the mother of all venue visits!!! Our story goes as follows?.
In the weeks prior to our arrival at the Pepsi Center, we kept in touch with Phil. We had
already purchased our tickets online for the game and it would be our hope to maybe get
access to the club level for this particular event, something we did not have the
opportunity to do in our first visit back in June. After a couple of email exchanges we
learned that yes, we?d have access to the club level and oh, by the way the Nuggets radio
team would like to know if a pre game interview would be possible. We agreed to do just
that, and with this knowledge in mind we were absolutely beside ourselves with glee as we
headed to the Pepsi Center for the nights festivities. Little did we know that it would be
only the tip of the iceberg as far the experience of this evening was concerned.
We arrived approximately an hour before gametime for our short interview with Nuggets
play by play man Jerry Schemmel , and things went well there. Getting to chat with people
about our travels is always something we enjoy doing, regardless of whether it is over the
air or with fans on the street. After the conclusion of our time there, we had a couple of
bombshells dropped on us. Number one, we had our seats upgraded to courtside for the
game and number two, in honor of the Nuggets being our 100th team we were selected to
take part in a pregame ceremonial tipoff wearing autographed jerseys of Nuggets stars
Antonio McDyess and Nick Van Exel. What a huge honor!!! As much as the D-Rays
experience was a special one back in September, the Nuggets may very well have topped
these efforts on this night. Food and drink were complements of the Nuggets and we were
also invited to take part in the Nuggets halftime slam dunk contest. Andrew prudently
declined this offer while Peter accepted, and to the entertainment of the audience he
showed everyone exactly why he watches the game from the stands and usually is not part
of the action on the court. SPLAT! Definitely not an Ultimate Sports Road Trip Hall of Fame
moment, but fun none the less.
We did plenty of wandering around the venue and just like at the Trop, we were stars.
People stopping us in the hallways to chat with us about our journeys...we can't spend too
much time doing that!! No autographs given this time though!!!
The game was a good one for the Nuggets, as they won handily over the Toronto Raptors
on this night (extending the USRT home team win streak to five). Unfortunately, right now
there don?t seem to be many people in Denver who are paying attention to this team, and
that?s a shame. Because make no mistake, this team may very well be on the upswing. With
the addition of veteran point guard Avery Johnson to a nucleus of young, talented players
that won 40 games last season, this is a group that could erase some of the dismal
memories of recent Nuggets past, and a return to the post-season could be in the offing
for the first time since 1995 here in the Mile High City.
Premium seating/club seats
As we stated before, we were able to get passes to the club level to get a look at what the
Pepsi Center has to offer. We were floored at the ambience, color and design of the
concourses in the 100 and 300 levels, and the club section offers similar superior design.
Every few sections one can find an upscale concession station, offering premium
desserts, Mexican fajitas, and yes, even one with Buffalo wings (chicken wings, folks, not
to be confused with Buffalo meat which one finds in abundance in these parts), complete
with blue cheese, hot sauce and the trimmings. Along one sideline is a beautiful restaurant
and bar sporting a terrific view of the outdoors and offering a premium buffet. If we had
one criticism, it was that the walls were sort of bare, devoid of any advertising or murals.
We would suggest some sort of "great moments" photos or team pictures, memorabilia,
that kind of stuff to jazz up the place.
The Denver Nuggets have retired four numbers and hang their banners proudly from the
rafters. The first name has to be that of #44 Dan Issel, now coach of the Nuggets and an
icon of Denver basketball. The rest are #2 Alex English, #33 David Thompson and #40 Byron
What more can we say!!! Stop number one hundred was sooooo much more than a nice
even number. It was the best stop on the tour for us so far!! For their efforts, we proudly
induct Phil Kosobucki and Jerry Schemmel into our Ultimate Sports Road Trip Hall of
Fame?..THANKS TO ALL AT THE NUGGETS ORGANIZATION, OH WHAT A NIGHT!!!!
Not much time to revel in the moment though. Monday morning awaited us with a 530 mile
trek to Salt Lake City where the Utah Jazz would be our next stop. Can you believe it, we
are going to SALT LAKE CITY?.of all places!!!
Food and team store 8.5
Scoreboard and electronics 6
Fan support 4
Location and neighborhood 5
Banners and history 7
In game entertainment 6
Concourses/fan comfort 7
Bonus: USRT red carpet treatment 4; two amazing entry lobbies 2
Total points: 62.5