Inside the venue: Pepsi Center
A quick look inside the Pepsi Center ...Location: Denver
Opened: October 1999
Cost: $160 million
Seating Capacity: 20,000
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will defend his crown against former titleholder Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the UFC 135 headliner on Saturday, as the Pepsi Center in Denver plays host to its first Ultimate Fighting Championship event. Hall of famer Matt Hughes will lock horns with perennial welterweight contender Josh Koscheck in the co-headliner. The show -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT -- will also feature a lightweight duel pitting “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz against former Pride Fighting Championships kingpin Takanori Gomi, along with a pair of heavyweight bouts, as the unbeaten Travis Browne collides with Rob Broughton and Ben Rothwell tangles with Mark Hunt.
The Pepsi Center was constructed as part of a major downtown revitalization plan that included Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies, and Invesco Field, home of the National Football League’s Denver Broncos. No stranger to major sporting events, it has hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2004, 2008 and 2011, the 2001 National Hockey League All-Star Game and the 2005 National Basketball Association All-Star Game.
Home to the Denver Nuggets, of the NBA, and the Colorado Avalanche, of the NHL, the Pepsi Center opened in October 1999 at a cost of $160 million. The facility features a grand atrium, which houses a suspended sculpture depicting hockey and basketball players in action. The sculpture weighs in at 2,000 pounds and was created for $75,000. Food connoisseurs can visit the Pepsi Center’s Blue Sky Grill, which offers patrons western cuisine in a mountain lodge setting.
Taylor Swift (Sept. 27), World Wrestling Entertainment’s RAW World Tour (Oct. 7), Foo Fighters (Oct. 9), Jimmy Buffet (Oct. 18) and Disney on Ice’s “Toy Story 3” (Dec. 8-11) will follow the UFC into the Pepsi Center.