Colorado Avalanche Fan Guide to Visiting Denver

DENVER, CO - APRIL 18: Fans enter the Pepsi Center prior to Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Colorado Avalanche and the Nashville Predators on April 18, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 18: Fans enter the Pepsi Center prior to Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Colorado Avalanche and the Nashville Predators on April 18, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

If you are thinking of visiting Denver to see the Colorado Avalanche here are some tips after my visit from the UK.

When I decided I wanted to visit Denver to see a Colorado Avalanche game or two (or four as it eventually turned out) I went into planning overdrive. Not only was it a city I’d never visited before, but I also had to coordinate a group of friends who were coming from various places in the US to join me.

Luckily for me the Avalanche family is a kind one and I had no shortage of offers of help and advice for planning my visit. Still, it can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before, so I’ve put together some basic information, tips and advice which will hopefully help anyone planning to visit the Mile High City for hockey.

Denver Airport

My experiences of airports in the US have been mixed. Some were pleasant, others less so.

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest in the US, so I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like but I am happy to say it is easily the nicest airport I have ever visited. Despite coming in on an international flight the passport control line moved quickly and efficiently, the staff were all very friendly (although my TSA agent had no idea who the Avalanche were – I won’t hold that against him) and from deplaning to picking up my luggage the whole thing took less than thirty minutes.

Flying home was exactly the same. Even when my carry on bag got pulled for extra screening (a box of cookies looked suspicious on the scanner) everyone was incredibly nice. The TSA agents were complimenting passengers socks, tattoos and just generally being friendly. I couldn’t have asked for a better airport experience.


In terms of accommodation it really depends what you’re looking for and what your budget is, but there are plenty of options available. Because there was a group of us we opted for an Airbnb a few minutes drive from Pepsi Center. As we were staying for 10 days that reduced the price a little, and considering how close to Pepsi Center we were (less than a five minute drive) it was very reasonably priced. I would definitely recommend checking both hotels and places like Airbnb, and comparing prices, to try and get the best deal on somewhere to stay.

The benefit of something like Airbnb is that you can get a place with a kitchen which will reduce the amount of money you spend on food. We found it really useful when Denver got hit by a bomb cyclone while we were there and it gave us a chance to make Tyson Barrie’s lava cakes.


While it’s possible to get around Denver by public transport I recommend driving if it’s at all possible. The practice facility in particular is pretty much impossible to get to without a car. We hired a car while we were there and splitting the cost between us meant it was a lot cheaper than using something like Uber or Lyft every day.

If you want to see a Colorado Eagles game while you’re visiting, there are buses that run from downtown Denver to Loveland and back. Again, though, it’s probably easier to drive there if you can.

Avalanche Practice

Practices take place at Family Sports Center and are generally open to the public. The team practices at Pepsi Center on game days and these are closed to the public. The @AvsPR Twitter account will usually tweet what time practices are but they’re usually in the morning no earlier than 10am.

To watch the team practice head into the main entrance and up the stairs. Follow the corridor around to a hallway where there’s bleachers on either side. There are two rinks and the main practice rink is the one with the mesh above the glass to catch wayward pucks.

Practice is the best opportunity you’ll have to meet some of the players. The area where they park their cars is gated and covered. You’ll see it on the left as you’re driving into the public parking lot. This is where they will come out after practice and there’s usually a few fans standing there by the time practice is over so you should see where you need to go.

There’s two exits to the player’s parking lot, one at the front where the fans can stand and one at the back which is private and inaccessible to the public. The players have the choice which exit they use so don’t expect to meet everyone as they leave. Some of the guys come out most days, others rarely, if ever.

Generally they will stay in their cars so if you have something you want signed make sure it’s small enough to easily fit through a car window. It’s also fine to ask for a photo. All the players we met while I was visiting were really nice and kind. They’re more than happy to chat with fans but keep in mind they probably have other places to be and that there will be other fans also waiting to talk to them. Having a brief chat while they’re signing your item is fine, asking them three hundred questions probably less fine.

Avalanche Games

The doors to Pepsi Center open an hour before puck drop and if you want a decent spot to watch warm-ups I recommend heading down to the ice as soon as you can once you’re inside. The best spots are blocks 102, 104, 122 and 124. We managed to get right down to the glass for every game.

In terms of where to sit I can honestly say it doesn’t matter. We sat in completely different places for each game we went to and there wasn’t a bad view in any of them. If you’re on a budget and have to sit up top you’ll still have a great view. The first game we went to we were up pretty much as high as you can go and the view was still great.

Shopping For Merchandise

More from Mile High Sticking

Altitude Authentics, the Avalanche’s official store, is located in Pepsi Center. It tends to be very crowded on game days so if you have the chance to go in on a day when there isn’t a game I recommend doing that. It’s also worth noting that they don’t stay open for very long after a game so if you can only make it on a game day it might be worth going in before puck drop.

I will say that they don’t keep jerseys for every single player in the store. If you want a specific player’s name on your jersey, especially if it’s not one of the more popular players, I’d take a look online first. Altitude Authentics has an online store and they generally have all jerseys available (stock is limited at the moment because it’s the offseason). If you decide to order online allow plenty of time for your order to arrive.

Note to other international fans: They do ship to the internationally and I found them to be very reasonably priced and fast. You will get hit with a customs fee, however, unless you’re buying something small and cheap like a puck. Somewhere like the NHL Store charges more for shipping but they include the customs costs at the time of purchase so you don’t get hit with an unexpected fee.

Next. Getting to Know Alex Beaucage. dark

The Colorado Avalanche regular season schedule starts on Thursday October 3rd with a home game against the Calgary Flames.