Pepsi Center to Change Fees for Colorado Avalanche Games


Kroenke Sports Entertainment and the Pepsi Center are implementing a new fee structure aimed at opponent fans attending Colorado Avalanche games.

Starting with the 2016-17 season, Kroenke Sports Entertainment and the Pepsi Center are joining together to increase revenue. There will be a new fee program that is only going to be in effect for Colorado Avalanche games.

According to Josh Kroenke, president and governor for the Colorado Avalanche, the new fee program will increase his profits by up to $4 million annually.

During a special press conference, he and Avalanche GM Joe Sakic talked about the new fees that will take place for Colorado hockey games. Kroenke said, “We noticed there are a lot of opponent fans in the building. This is especially true during Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks games.”

Sakic reiterated, “Especially during Blackhawks games.”

Kroenke went into detail about how some teams have tried to minimize the amount of opponent fans who attend their games. For example, the Nashville Predators have tried a couple different tactics. They didn’t allow single-game tickets for certain teams — patrons had to purchase more than one game. When their team met the Blackhawks in the playoffs last year, they cancelled credit card orders from out of state.

Kroenke shook his head. “That’s foolish. How can you cancel orders — these people are arriving with money in their hands!”

Sakic also pointed out that the Pepsi Center might not be as filled if they limited the number of opponent fans in attendance. “We’re working to fill the seats with the best fans in the world again — Avs fans, like in my day. But that’s in the five-year plan.”

He added that he certainly didn’t want to see thin crowds like those that are featured at Florida Panthers games.

In any case, rather than prohibit opponent fans from attending Colorado Avalanche games, Kroenke Sports Entertainment and the staff at the Pepsi Center worked together to devise a fee schedule. Fans of the opponent teams will have to pay a surcharge that Avs fans are exempt from.

When asked how they’ll implement the surcharge, Kroenke and Sakic deferred to a representative of the Pepsi Center staff.

“We’ll be collecting the money at the doors,” she explained. “If you walk in wearing an opponent jersey, you’ll be charged. We take both cash and credit.”

This is not a flat fee. According to the representative, the fees depend on the opponent team:

  • Eastern Conference: $20
  • Pacific Division (except as noted): $35
  • Anaheim Ducks: $45
  • LA Kings: $45
  • Central Division (except as noted): $75
  • Chicago Blackhawks: $100
  • Minnesota Wild: $100

Joe Sakic remarked that they considered that last long and hard. “We thought about charging even more because of all the problem Minnesota Wild fans cause. $500 to $1,000 was discussed, but Josh felt that would actually discourage those fans from attending games. Not that we would mind that…”

When asked if they would only charge based on opponent jerseys, making T-shirts, hats and other gear free, Kroenke shook his head. “Absolutely not. Even face painting — any opponent colors garner the fee.”

The Pepsi Center rep added, “Those Chicago Blackhawks costumes with the headdresses — which are so offensive — that counts as two fees.”

She went further into how the procedure would work. On game days, the doors would open 1.5 hours before game time. There would be VIP lines for Colorado Avalanche fans, a sort of express station that allowed them to get through security quickly. Opponent fans would have to wait in the longer lines to pay their fees. Once they’d done so, they’d be given a wristband.

Why a wristband? Even Hawks and Wild fans might eventually figure out to hide their jerseys until they’d passed security. However, Pepsi Center will be taking on extra security — anyone trying to get to their seats or even to the bathroom will have to show a wristband if they’re wearing opponent colors.

She explained, “We’ll have extra cashiers to charge them on the spot.”

When asked if the fee policy would apply to children as well, Kroenke and Sakic spoke in unison to say, “Yes.”

Sakic added, “It’s distasteful to raise your children in Colorado to support another hockey team.”

The fees will not apply to patrons not wearing any fan gear at all. However, said patrons would not be allowed to go through the expedited security — again, just in case they’re opponent fans in disguise.

Next: Roy's Culture Taking Over

Editor’s note: Happy April Fools Day! Unless you’re a Blackhawks or Wild fan — then be prepared to pay your fee starting next season.