Denver Nuggets’ Tim Connelly: Ball Arena symbolizes team’s new era

by Alex Labidou Staff Writer

For 20 years, the Pepsi Center became synonymous with the Nuggets as the iconic home of Denver’s basketball team.

Since its debut in 2000, the arena has seen the team host an All-Star game, the Western Conference finals. It has seen the progression from rebuilds to stars like Carmelo Anthony and now Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. When Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) announced the Ball Corporation would be joining as a partner and the Nuggets’ home would be Ball Arena, there was some obvious sentimentality towards the previous partnership. However, it also points to an ambitious vision of the team’s future both on and off the court.

“It is great to hear the news of this substantial partnership between Ball Corporation and KSE. It’s exciting to see two Colorado-based companies coming together and making a plan to impact sustainable change at a global level,” Denver Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly said via text. “The future is bright for the Nuggets and it feels like the perfect time for this new era to begin.”

 Ball Corporation’s focus on sustainability was a huge selling point for KSE in choosing to go with the packaging and aerospace company. The partnership with the company is one that spans the globe as London-based Arsenal, the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche and Mammoth are also involved. As part of the pact, Ball Arena (Nuggets, Mammoth, Avalanche), SoFi Stadium (Rams) and the Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) will all be switching their focus to fan-facing recycling programs. At full capacity, those three stadiums could host up to 6.5 million attendees – a significant number that could help the global footprint. Although fans can’t currently attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership could make a substantial impact when they return.

For Ball Arena, KSE and BallCorp will be working to transition to infinitely recyclable aluminum beverage packaging (cans, bottles, and cups) for 100 percent of the venue’s concessions, with the goal of supporting a more environmentally friendly system in 2022. The partnership also includes a comprehensive recycling and sustainability plan, which will work toward the collection and recycling of all aluminum beverage packaging at the venue, in addition to making sustainability part of the fan experience both in-stadium and at home.

So, while fans aren’t able to currently attend, there will be an infrastructure in place for a greener setup when they do. Connelly is excited to see what Ball Arena will look like when fans are back in the stands.

“We can’t wait until we are playing in front of the best fans in the NBA at Ball Arena,” he said.


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