Pepsi Arena - Albany, NY
In 2000, the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., played host to a memorable No Mercy; that night Stone Cold Steve Austin returned to the ring after being injured and Kurt Angle won the WWE Championship from The Rock. Formerly the Knickerbocker Arena, in 1992 the venue held the Royal Rumble where Ric Flair wrestled for more than one hour to win the Rumble and WWE Championship. In 2006, the arena hosted New Year’s Revolution, where Edge used the Money in the Bank contract to beat John Cena for the WWE Championship. Pepsi Arena has also held live RAW, SmackDown and ECW events. According to Pepsi Arena, 189,833 WWE fans visited the arena from 1990 to 1998.
Pepsi Arena opened in 1990 and seats from 6,000 to 17,500 spectators. More than 7 million patrons have been entertained at the venue. It’s the home of the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats, arenafootball2’s Albany Conquest, Siena College’s Saints men’s basketball team and often the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament. Several other regional college tournaments are held there.
The first concert held at the Pepsi Arena was Frank Sinatra in January 1990. Other notables who have performed there are Bill Cosby, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and the Harlem Globetrotters.
The capital of New York, Albany has approximately 95,000 residents, and the city is 145 miles north of New York City. It’s the fourth oldest continually-inhabited city and has four lakes. At the far edge of the city is the Pine Bush, one of the country’s only large areas of pine barrens and sand dunes, which contains many endangered species. Often referred to as “Smallbany,” many believe the city lacks culture and sophistication, while the city indeed has an active artists’ community and is a key stop for many artists and acts. Colleges and Universities in the Albany area with Division I sports teams include SUNY’s University at Albany (all sports), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (hockey), Union College (hockey) and Siena College (all sports).